ARMY authorities in Abuja have confirmed the arrest of nine suspects believed to be among those perpetrating in the acts of economic sabotage in the Niger Delta region. According to a statement issued yesterday by the acting director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, five suspects were apprehended at Ehweru community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State while another four were arrested at house number 4, Temile Street, off Egor Road in Ughelli. The army spokesman said the arrest was made possible following intelligence report as a result a robust patrol team that was dispatched to raid suspected criminal hideouts at Ehweru community in Ughelli North yesterday morning. “The team was able to track down and arrest hoodlums known for terrorising commuters plying the East-West Road between Ughelli and Patani. The patrol team arrested five suspects which include Messrs Oruno Egbede, Atiyoyo Rewemuesere, Peter Kehinde, Wilson Godbless and Friday Odede. They also recovered one locally made gun, one dagger and a cutlass from the suspects. “At about 3.45am earlier today, another patrol team of the unit raided house number 4, Temile Street, off Egor Road in Ughelli, which served as the residence of Mr. Gabriel Ogbudje (a supposedly ex-militant leader) and now leader of the Otugas Fire Force (a new militant group in the Niger Delta). “Although still at large, he is suspected to be responsible for the recent acts of economic sabotage perpetrated at NPDC/ shoreline major delivery trunk line within Ogor-oteri communities on 29th August 2016. “However, Messrs Vincent Ekeke and Henry Koko, alongside Mrs. Racheal Abbah and Mrs. Amaratefa Odada found at the residence were invited for questioning while efforts are ongoing to track down the wanted suspect,” he revealed. Usamn further disclosed that troops of 222 Battalion, 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army involved in the field training exercise of Operation Crocodile Smile carried out patrols through Edje-Ewu-Opere waterside and Araya communities in Ughelli South and Isoko South Local Government Areas of Delta State. He said as part of the training programme, the exercising unit would continue to dominate the general area with patrols and raids of reported or suspected hideouts of criminals. “Reconnaissance is also ongoing to detect the site of economic sabotage on NPDC/shoreline pipeline along Ogor-Oteri swamps in Ughelli South and Ughelli North LGAs by some criminals.” Col. Usman vowed that the troops would continue to maintain vigilance, carry out raids and patrols as part of the training exercise in the general area, as part of their routine activities to improve proficiency and professionalism.