The Nigerian Police Force today declared wanted Terwase Akwaza, a fugitive already on the watchlist of Benue State government, in connection with last month’s killings in Zaki Biam.
The police, while parading 19 suspects arrested with the killing of 17 people in the Benue state town, said they recovered a lot of arms from a secret underground armoury of Akwaza, in the deep forest, in an operation jointly conducted with the military and DSS
Among the arms recovered were : 3 AK 47 Rifles, 3 FN Rifles, one G3 Rifle, One LMG, One SMG, One Double-Barrel Gun, One Mark 4 Rifle, 4 Single-Barrel Guns, 4 Locally-Made Revolver Pistols , 36 Hand-Grenades and 2 Short Gun Local.
Police also recovered hundreds of bullets and munitions from the armoury.
“The principal suspect (Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana) and his gang abandoned their hideout and narrowly escaped further into the forest as a result of the superior firepower of the joint operation teams”, the police said.
The police said their preliminary investigation and the operations embarked upon by the joint Police team revealed Akwaza, also known as Ghana was the gang leader of a “vicious and notorious serial killer syndicate” responsible for the senseless killings.
The Akwaza gang was also linked with the killing of about 50 people in other locations in Benue State.
“He is also responsible for so many kidnappings, armed robberies and cultists violence leading to loss of lives and properties in other parts of Benue State.
“Further investigation revealed that he is also responsible for killing of Mr. Deneen Igbana (late) the Special Adviser on Security to the Executive Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom.
“Consequently, the Inspector General of Police ordered the Special Police teams already on ground in Benue State to immediately embark on manhunt for Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana and his gang members and bring them to justice.
‘This joint operations comprising the personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Military and the Department of State Service for the arrest of Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana and his vicious criminal gang is currently ongoing in Benue State.
” In the dogged pursuit of the operations the Nineteen (19) suspects listed below were arrested for conspiracy and other various criminal roles they played in the killings of innocent persons and other violent crimes carried out by Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana in Benue State.
They are currently in Police custody. During interrogation they admitted to be cohorts of the wanted suspect “Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana” and have facilitated the commission of some of the offences linked to him at different times in Benue and other neighbouring States. They will be charged to court on completion of investigation accordingly.”