Tuesday, May 24, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Bandits ambush Nigerian Army logistics convoy, cart away N28 million cash, weapons

An officer and soldiers who took part in the operation were still missing as of Thursday morning, The Gazette understands.

• April 8, 2021

A stockpile of military hardware with about N28 million cash has been reportedly carted away by marauding bandits who ambushed a select group of Nigerian troops on reinforcement mission to quell pockets of communal clashes in Benue State, military sources told Peoples Gazette.

Citing an internal army communication, a source told The Gazette that soldiers dispatched from Katsina-Ala Local Government Area to deliver weaponry to troops in Oju LGA (171km from Katsina-Ala) were overrun by an armed militia said to be from the Konshisha district of the state, in an attack believed to have occurred on Tuesday.

Senior military officers said N28 million was also with the soldiers at the time of the ambush, all of which the attackers cornered and disappeared into the night on the fringes of the Benue River.

“Yes, the bandits stole weapons and also about N28 million from the soldiers,” the senior officer said. “The entire situation has been under investigation since the headquarters heard about it.”

The official said no conspiracy was suspect on the part of the soldiers but said it was a “deeply disturbing” situation that soldiers could be easily waylaid by a ragtag group of bandits. The source of the money and its purpose were not immediately disclosed to The Gazette.

The logistics team, led by A.T. Adedayo — an army captain — was reported missing, including a general-purpose machine gun and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

Sources said the ambush site was met deserted when a reinforcement deployed at Oju stormed the scene following an alert.

A joint operation by troops of 72 Special Forces Battalion and anti-banditry formation, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), was planned to be conducted in the area to rescue the missing soldiers, a source said.

An army spokesman could not be immediately reached for comments.

Armed militia groups have continued to hold sway in remote parts of Benue, as the North-Central state grapples with recurring communal clashes and farmer-herder unrest.

Governor Samuel Ortom survived an assassination attempt in late March when an armed gang suspected to be rogue pastoralists invaded his farm located at the outskirts of the capital city, Makurdi.

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Osun State governor, Adegboyega-Oyetola (Photo Credit: @GboyegaOyetola)

Politics

Thugs attack journalists at Gov. Oyetola’s campaign rally in Osun

The hoodlums wielded clubs, charms, stones, and axes with which they attacked the journalists, injuring four of them.

Kogi women protest

States

Protesting Kogi women demand senatorial ticket for female aspirant

The women are asking that all APC male aspirants from Kogi West senatorial district withdraw for Mrs Adedoyin Eshanumi.

Godswill Akpabio

Politics

2023: Akpabio woos Katsina delegates with promise to sustain Nigeria’s unity

“When I was the governor of Akwa Ibom, I built so many mosques and schools for Muslims in the state.”

Ekiti State University

Education

ASUU Strike: Ekiti varsity resumes academic activities May 24

The varsity said it noted the pains being experienced by students and parents as a result of the protracted strike by ASUU.

Dollar and Naira

Economy

Naira drops by 0.31% to exchange at 420.23 per dollar

An exchange rate of N444.00 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N420.23.

Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

States

El-Rufai releases N3 billion for payment of workers’ gratuities, death benefits

Payments of gratuity and death benefits will be made to retirees and families of deceased civil servants.