By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The wanted leader of a notorious bandit group terrorizing communities in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, Leggi Jibrin has been arrested after a gun battle with troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS, the joint military/security operation covering the three states.
It was gathered from a security source that the wanted bandit who had been on the radar of OPWS was arrested by the troops at Agam/Gidan Bawa village in Nasarawa Local Government Area, LGA, of Nasarawa state during a sting operation.
The source stated the the operation which took place on Wednesday and Thursday on the directive of the Force Commander, Major General Kevin Aligbe also led to the rescue of five kidnap victims by the troops deployed to Ugya in Toto LGA of the state.
According to the source, “Troops of OPWS deployed to Ugya in Toto LGA of Nasarawa state received credible intel and responded swiftly to a distress call of a kidnap incident at Zaure forest.
“On arrival at the forest, our troops saw three trucks loaded with illegal timber that were abandoned in the forest. Accordingly the troops combed the forest, stumbled on the kidnappers camp and rescued five of their victims.”
“The rescued victims includes Abdulkafar Nuhu, Adamu Dagana, Emmanuel Osasede, Jacob Amaku and Danladi Amaku.
“In the course of the operation the troops also arrested a notorious kingpin at Agam/Gidan Bawa village in Nasarawa LGA of Nasarawa state.
“The bandits were raiding the community when OPWS troops swooped on them. The troops engaged them in a gun duel, which resulted in the arrest of Jibrin and the killing of one of the bandits.
“When our men got into the location of the raid, some of the bandits who were carrying high caliber weapons, fled the area, immediately they sighted our men.
“Our troops then engaged the them in hot pursuit and exchange of gunfire. The kingpin who was shot on his leg was arrested and while some others were killed.
“I must say that the success of the raid on the bandits was made possible by the credible intelligence we got that the kingpin and other armed bandits were raiding some settlements in the area.”
He stated that some of the items recovered from the bandits includes one AK-47 rifle, one AK-49 rifle and 106 rounds of 7.62mm rounds of ammunition as well as a mobile phone.
Efforts to reach the Public Relations Officer of OPWS, Flying Officer, Audu Katty was unsuccessful.