Suspects responsible for pipeline attacks in Bayelsa, Delta
A suspected notorious militant identified as “General Eagle”, has been arrested by the troops of Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS).
The kingpin, who was arrested by troops of ODS after months of being on the wanted list of security agencies in the Niger Delta region, was said to be the leader of a gang of militants, who serially attacked pipelines in Delta and Bayelsa states.
Confirming the development at the weekend, the Commander, ODS, Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi, said the hoodlum was arrested at his hideout along Captain Ayeni Road, Kpansia, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, alongside three other suspects.
Narrating how the troops apprehended the suspected kingpin, he said: “The tenacity and resilience of Operation Delta Safe troop and personnel led to his arrest.
“After gathering actionable intelligence, troops carried out surgical military operations at his hideout at Captain Ayeni Road, Kpansia Yenagoa.
“He was arrested with three other suspects. Items recovered from his hideout include seven mobiles phones, 15 identity cards, one First Bank ATM card and a jack knife. Suspects are being interrogated for further actions”.
Apochi explained that the suspect and his gang at various times masterminded the destruction of oil facilities to sabotage the operations of oil companies and the economy.
He said the suspect, who already confessed to some of the criminal activities, also engaged in the abduction of high-profile individuals in the region.
Apochi said: “The criminal and his group have at various times masterminded the destruction of oil infrastructures in order to sabotage the operation of the companies and the economy of the nation, engaged in illegal oil bunkering and kidnap of high profile victims.
“The self-acclaimed “General Eagle” recently organised and blew one of the oil company’s risers at Golubokiri along Obama Brass pipeline in Bayelsa State. He claimed responsibility for the heinous crime.
“The criminal was involved on the planting of explosives devices and threatened Tobie oil facilities at Golubokiri, Mansonkiri and others in the general area.
“The text that accompanied one of his blasts indicated that the criminal had severally threatened oil companies and their staff and thereafter owned up to the sabotage with further threats to carry out more attacks. It would interest you to know that he has been on the watch list of security agencies for some time now.”
Also, the commander further said following some tips, the troops raided a lodge and arrested one Mr. Funebi, whom he described as a henchman in charge of arms and one of the allies of a notorious militant popularly known as “VIP”.
Funebi was said to be known in the creeks as a pirate, pipeline bleeding expert, responsible for destruction of oil facilities
Apochi said that since his assumption of duty in November, he had maintained and improved the existing tempo in ODS by evolving result-oriented strategies to stop criminality in the region.
He reinstated the commitment of the ODS to ensure peace and economic stability in the region and asked aggrieved persons in the region to take advantage of windows of opportunity provided by the Federal Government to amicably resolve their problems.
“Rather than engage in heinous crimes for self-help, they should seize the opportunity and embrace peace or face full wrath of the law. No criminal would go free, wherever they are, be rest assured we will root them out and ensure they face justice.”
He assured law abiding citizens to go about their normal businesses, adding that they would be adequately protected.