..As troops gun down notorious cultist, illegal oil bunkerer Godsgift Onyedinefu A soldier of 29 Battalion, 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) and two personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were killed on Sunday morning during a fire fight with suspected cultists and illegal oil bunkerers in Tai Local Government Area (LGA)…

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..As troops gun down notorious cultist, illegal oil bunkerer

Godsgift Onyedinefu

A soldier of 29 Battalion, 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) and two personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were killed on Sunday morning during a fire fight with suspected cultists and illegal oil bunkerers in Tai Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State.

The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Aminu Iliyasu confitmed this in a statement on Sunday.

Iliyasu said the soldier and the NSCDC personnel were guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines when they were attacked by the militants who were hitherto prevented from vandalizing 24″ and 28″ TNP.

He added that one AK 47 and 2 G3 rifles were carted away by the assailants.

Iliyasu however disclosed that the prime suspect, identified as the wanted notorious cultists and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele – popularly known as MENE was gunned down by the troops at about 9:am on Sunday following credible information in location of the suspects.

He said, “an immediate reinforcement by troops at the location led to the cordon and search of the general area with the view to finding any criminal believed to be harbouring within the communities.

“Reliable intelligence led to the tracking of the prime suspect, a notorious cultist and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele Loveday who has been on the wanted list of the security agencies for terrorizing communities in the state.

“Consequently, at about 9:00am, troops cashing on available information sighted a white Toyota Hilux vehicle without number plate, hastily driven with 4 occupants. Efforts to stop the vehicle by troops at a check point was ignored. The gallant troops chased the speeding vehicle and caught up with the suspects around Kira Junction, along Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic.

“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at the troops in a bid to escape. Troops reacted, and incapacitated the militants’ vehicle. As a result, the bandits abandoned their vehicle and fled to the bush.

“However, one of the criminals was gunned down and was identified as the wanted notorious cultists and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele – popularly known as MENE. Others with him, believed to escape with gun shot wounds – leaving trails of blood.”

According to Iliyasu, the following tems were recovered from the scene and in the vehicle; oneK2 Rifle, two Magazines loaded with 52 Rounds of 5.56mm, some personal effects, one pair of vehicle plate number KRK 95DP RIVERS and some documents.

The Army spokesperson further informed that the body and other recovered exhibits have been handed over to the NSCDC Rivers State Command for further action, while troops continue to track the remaining fleeing bandits to face justice.

He said the General Officer Commanding 6 Division Maj Gen Jamil Sarham has rereaffirmed the commitment of the Division in protecting lives and properties of law abiding citizens in Rivers state.

He also solicited the cooperation of all stakeholders in tackling insecurity within the Niger Delta region through sharing of credible information to the security agencies.

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Source:Global Sentinel