By Francis Sadhere

In an efforts to maintain peace in the crisis ridden Ekpan community and its neighboring communities in Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta, combined team of the Nigeria security agencies have apprehended 35 suspected criminals during a surprise mop-up exercise.

Some of the suspects bieng paraded.

Some of the suspects bieng paraded.

The security operatives comprising the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air force, the Nigeria Police and Department of States Security raided the communities at the wee hours of Friday to mop up illegal arms.

While parading the suspects, on Friday at the 3 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun,  Brig-Gen Farouk Yahaya, Commander 4th Brigade said the security agencies were determined to reed Delta of illicit arms.

Yahaya sad those arrested would be investigated while the operation would be continuous, adding, “In the early hours of this morning, a joint operation codename “Operation Yakare’’ was conducted by the military comprising the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Department of States Security.

He described the operation as successful, noting that the operation was to check the spread of “small arms in our midst, arms and ammunitions were recovered and suspects were arrested.”

The commander called on those involved in the trafficking of illicit arms to surrender them before the law catches up with them.

“You just cannot escape us, better find legal means of doing your business. If you have arms just willfully surrender them,’’ he advised.

Also speaking the Delta Commissioner of Police (CP), Alkali Baba Usman said the exercise was carried out because of the incessant complaint of criminal actives around Ekpan, Eburumede, Ogbomro and some other communities in Uvwie.

He said, “A total of 35 suspects were arrested and during our preliminary screening, three persons were identified and have been released. “The rest 32 suspected will be subjected to further investigations.

“We also recovered a G3 Riffle loaded with 20 rounds of lives ammunitions and other incriminating items including suspected ballot papers. We also had an incident where a tricyclist was flagged to stop for security agents to search. Instead of stopping, in a effort to escape ran into a truck and the two occupants had accidents and were latter confirmed dead.”

Alkali said that the operation would be extended to neighboring places like Warri as soon as the security agents get intelligent information.

He also assured that justice would be done to the suspects noting that the security operatives would not succumb to the powers that be to release them.

The Delta Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Bright Edejeghro said that security of lives and property was all-inclusive and urged people to give useful information to security agencies to enable them carry out their work successfully.