A serial pipeline vandal and suspected member of the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers has been arrested by the Nigerian Navy around Sapele Council Area of Delta state, The Punch reports.
According to the report, the suspect, Abraham Suru, also known as Gabon, was arrested weeks after he had been declared wanted by the Nigerian military , over claims that he is responsible for incessant attacks on oil and gas facilities within Warri North and South-West Council areas of the state.
It was gathered that Suru who hails from Ondo state, was arrested on Tuesday September 20, around Sapele where he had been hiding.
This was disclosed by the the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Delta, Commodore Joseph Dzunve as the suspect was paraded before newsmen at the Warri Navy Base.
Commodore Dzunve said that Gabon’s arrest was part of intense efforts by the Navy through the Operation Delta Safe to flush out militants and other criminal elements from the region.
He said: “As part of the on-going efforts by the federal government to stop crude oil theft and illegal bunkering activities in the nation’s maritime domain, the Nigerian Navy Ship Delta, being part of the Operation Delta Safe, has arrested a notorious gang leader who has been in this business since 2011.
“He (Abraham Suru aka Gabon) is involved in pipeline vandalism, sea robbery, attacks shipping, illegal bunkering and currently a suspected member of the Niger Delta Avengers.
“The Nigerian Navy remains committed in apprehending those behind all forms of criminal activities in the Nigerian Maritime Domain. Let me assure the general public that the Navy component of ODS is resolute in curbing criminal activities in the nation maritime environment.”
Dzunve also noted that the arrested Gabon was the ring leader of one of the cell groups within the Niger Delta Avengers whose team members include one General Felix that had earlier been arrested by his operatives.
On his part, Suru confessed to allegations of being a militant and blowing up oil facilities in the region, including one at Dibi community in Warri North.
However, he denied being a member of the Niger Delta Avengers, even as he revealed that he was recruited in 2011 into the criminal act by Genera Kaphapolo, a former militant leader who died recently in a ghastly motor accident; and has since then carried out series of attacks.
Gabon said: “General Kaphapolo told me that their youths are not being recognised by oil companies in the area; and that is why we were attacking facilities.
“But after General Kaphapolo died in motor accident, I was contacted by one General Tony Felix to join their team because they know I am capable of blowing up oil facilities. I am not a member of Niger Delta Avengers.”
Sule’s arrest comes just days after the Nigerian Navy recently apprehended the leader of militant group -Bakasi Strike Force, Uduak Etim Thompon.
Thompson was arrested alongside four other members of his group at their hideout in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.
Some days ago, a report by Reuters suggested that the people in the Niger Delta are angry at the alleged military brutality that led to the death of the father of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo.
The report stated that the anger against the Nigerian military is threatening the ceasefire agreement between the militants and the government.
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