Nigerian Army said it has apprehended one Gabriel Ogbudje, an ex-militant leader, who is also the leader of ‘Operation Crocodile Tears’, to counter the military’s ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ aimed at crushing militancy in the Niger-Delta region.
Ogbudje was arrested alongside his accomplice, Elvis Dweller Ejus, while a kingpin of the Niger Delta Avengers, Isaac Romeo, who goes by the appellation ‘G2’ was arrested with two other persons; Lawson Samson and an elderly man, Iyang Ekpo in Calabar, Cross River State, last Saturday.
Also, the army said a Boko Haram suspect on the wanted list and number 105, Muhammed Bulama, was arrested by its troops last Tuesday in Yobe State.
Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, who confirmed the arrest in a statement, yesterday, said Bulama was arrested alongside two suspects; Ardo Abba Muhammed (elder brother to Bulama as claimed) and Muhammadu Kaigama in Azare community, Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State, with the help of local vigilantes.
The army spokesman said the trio were arrested while riding on a horseback and bicycle shepherding some sheep towards the market.
“During preliminary investigation, the suspected terrorist personally confirmed his photograph on the wanted list and revealed that he rears animals for the terrorist group. He confessed that they came to the village to sell the animals as they had run out of cash in their hideout and would also get some food items for the upcoming Sallah festivity.’’
On the Niger-Delta unrest, Usman confirmed that troops of 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, arrested Ogbudje, suspected to be a national economy saboteur and alleged leader of the “Otugas Fire Force”, a militant group threatening to attack Utorogu Gas Plant.
He was alleged to be responsible for the recent act of economic sabotage perpetrated on NPDC/Shoreline major delivery trunk line within Ogo-Oteri general area on August 26.
“The suspected militant was arrested by troops along the Agbor-Abraka road, Edo State, on Tuesday, September 6. He has been on the run since he was declared wanted, following his public declaration as leader of the militant group, ‘Otugas Fire Force’ and his subsequent declaration of the threat code named ‘Crocodile Tears’, while the brigade was engaged in a military field training exercise nicknamed ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’.
“Both suspects were handed over to ‘Operation DELTA SAFE’ for further interrogation and subsequent handing over to the relevant security agency for prosecution.’’
The army spokesman recalled that troops of 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army, in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Air Force and covert operatives of the Defence Intelligence Agency, had arrested a suspected kingpin of the Niger Delta Avengers, Isaac Romeo, who goes by the appellation of ‘G2’ in their terrorist camp.
“He was arrested alongside two others; Mr. Lawson Samson and an elderly man, Mr. Iyang Ekpo, in Calabar, Cross River State, while driving in a vehicle with registration number, CRS 86 AO1 on Saturday, September 3.
“The arrest followed painstaking efforts and tracking of the militant who was in the state to perpetrate further criminal activities of sabotaging critical infrastructure. All suspects are currently being interrogated”, Usman revealed.

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