Benue’s most-wanted criminal, Terwase Akwaza, popularly known as Gana, has again escaped capture by troops who raided his hideout.Gana has been on the watch list of the Benue State Government in connection with the killings in the Zaki Biam area of the state.
Governor Samuel Ortom also placed a ransom on his head.The fugitive had earlier in May escaped arrest by the special military forces during a raid in his hideout in Mtan village, Utenge Council Ward of Katsina-Ala LGA of Benue State.He reportedly escaped with gunshot wounds.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, said the headquarters got credible intelligence on the possible hideout of Gana around the general area of Tse-Audu village in Akate council ward of Donga Local Government of Taraba State.
He said this in a statement titled, ‘Re-Soldiers invade man’s house at 3am, burn private school, loot shops, steal N1.2m,’ in response to allegations that troops assaulted a businessman’s residence and destroyed his shop.Enenche, in a statement on Sunday night, said the troops of Operation Whirl Stroke, drawn from Sector 2 at Gbise and Zaki Biam in Benue in conjunction with troops of sector 4 deployed in Kofa Ahmadu, Kasuwan Haske, Kashiimbala and Akate in Taraba State at about 0300 hrs on July 18 conducted a dawn raid at an identified hideout in Tse-Audu village.
He said, “However, the hideout was deserted as the bandits fled before the troops’ arrival.“Troops combed the hideout and recovered one locally-made rifle, two camouflage uniforms, one dog tag and some substances suspected to be Indian hemp as well as charms. The hideout was then destroyed.”
“Subsequently, troops proceeded to Chachanji village where a school, shop and building belonging to same militia leader, Gana, were identified and searched.“The search yielded rewards as troops discovered one locally-made mortar tube, one locally-made rifle and 13 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
“The buildings were subsequently destroyed to deny Gana and his cohorts the use of the facilities to advance their criminal activities.”The defence spokesman refutedreports that the troops invaded a businessman’s house, burnt down his school, looted his shop and stole N1,237,000 in Peva, a town in the Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State.