In what appeared similar to the treatment meted out to the former spiritual leader and founder of Boko Haram terrorist group, Mohammed Yusuf, a notorious militant leader, Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo, also known as ‘Karowei’, who was recently arrested by Nigerian Army, has been killed.
Recall that in response to a July 2009 Boko Haram uprising, that the Nigerian military had captured Yusuf at his parents-in-law’s house. He was later transferred to the custody of the Nigerian police force, who allegedly executed him in public view outside the police headquarters in Maiduguri.
One of the claims by police officials was that Yusuf was shot while trying to escape from their custody.
In the same vein, the Nigerian Army in a statement released by its coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, Major Ibrahim Abdullahi, claimed that it had to shoot Karowei dead after he tried to flee to rejoin his criminal gangs.
The Army statement read, “In line with the Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) mandate to protect critical oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region, a deliberate operation code named Op Ember Safe was conducted by the Force.
“This operation was aimed at tackling the security challenges posed to safety of lives and critical oil and gas facilities in the region. Consequently, a 7 day clearance operation was initiated by the Comd JTF Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman to sanitize the region of militants, cultists, sea robbers, kidnappers and other criminals.
“During the operation, precisely on Thursday 11 January 2018, a notorious militant leader Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo also known as ‘Karowei’ and his criminal gang were arrested. It could be recalled that Mr Karowei and his criminal gang abducted four (4) British Missionaries on 13th October 2017 in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State which led to the unfortunate death of one of the Britons, Late Mr Ian Squire.
“Karowei and his gang were also responsible for several abductions/kidnappings, robberies and raping of innocent women in the region including unprovoked attacks on military locations in Delta and Bayelsa states.
“Also on 7th January 2018, Karowei and his gang attacked our troops at Bolu Ndoro forest which led to the death of four (4) Military OPDS personnel. After his arrest, Karowei confessed to several criminal acts and led troops to his camp to recover the cache of arms and ammunitions in his possession as well as to persuade other members of his gang to surrender.
“However in a twist of events, Karowei’s recalcitrant group laid an ambush and attacked Task Force troops in a gun battle at his camp deep in the forest. This was in a bid to rescue Karowei from our troops.
“The superior firepower, resilience and gallantry of own troops countered this snap attack which resulted in the death of several of Karowei’s henchmen and the king pin, Karowei who tried to flee to rejoin his cohorts.
“The commander, Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman deeply appreciates the support of the locals within communities in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State and Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in finally uprooting this notorious criminal, who in conjunction with his gang has constituted serious security menace around the general area.
“The Commander Joint Task Force also wishes to seek additional selfless support from law abiding citizens to uproot all criminals causing mayhem within the Niger Delta. He urges all to go about their legitimate businesses as the waterways are now safe and secure.
“Furthermore he assures the local communities of the Task Force’s commitments to stem all criminalities in the Niger Delta in line with the mandate of the Chief of Defence Staff as well as strategic expectations of the Joint Task Force.”
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