The Commander of 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Farouk Yahaya, who paraded the suspected militants on Sunday at the Brigade headquarters in Benin, Edo state, said they were arrested at about 1:40am on Saturday, in Oporaza community, Warri South-West local government area of Delta state, following a cordon and search operation conducted in the community. He said the operation was part of efforts to check the spate of renewed attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta region.
Brigadier-General Yahaya explained that there had been several cases of sabotage by suspected militants and vandals in Delta State since January 1, 2016, as well as further warnings and threats “to shut down all operations” in the sector.
Items recovered from the suspects include 28 detonator cords (Detonator 33), one pistol, two empty pistol magazines, 196 rounds of 7.62 special ammunition, one round of nine-millimetre ammunition, a live cartridge and five daggers. Others are 15 hand-held radio sets, 18 phones, 203 SIM cards belonging three major network providers, five swimsuits, two headlamps, a laptop, two ipads and a camera.
Besides, the army also recovered seven wraps of substances suspected to be Indian hemp, five speedboat throttle cables, six pairs of hand gloves, a cash sum of N23,000 and a cheque book. According to Brigadier-General Yahaya, investigation would reveal the true identity of the suspects, observed that recent explosions carried out by the Niger Delta Avengers suggested that the arrested suspects may not be unconnected to the group.