The leadership of the Nigerian Army has announced the arrest of some criminal elements operating in the South-eastern part of Nigeria.
The Nigerian Army said on Friday that it had arrested at least eight suspected cult members, vandals and a drug peddler in the ongoing military operation, Python Dance II.
The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, and 82 Division Spokesman, Colonel Sagir Musa, who confirmed the arrests, said the suspects had been handed over to the police for further interrogation.
A Punch correspondent noted that Operation Python Dance II, which began on September 15 in the five southeastern states amid controversies, has only a week to round off.
It was gathered that troops of Sector 2, during the operation in Obile community in the Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, raided a hideout of cult members and vandals, recovering three locally made single barrel guns and an AK 47 rifle, loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition.
Also, the troops of 34 Brigade in Owerri arrested suspected members of the Degbam cult group, identified as Onyewokechi Chiwuanya, Uchechi Agu and Esoro Chibuzor, who were all handed over to the Egbema Police Station for further action.
The army spokesman in 82 Division, which is coordinating the Python Dance operation, Col. Musa, said, “Patrols and raids on suspected criminal hideouts and confirmed flash-points across the South-East have been sustained during this period. This has denied criminals the freedom of action.
“Similarly, crisis prone areas such as Ohaji Egbema in Imo State, Aba, Ngwa and Umuahia areas of Abia State, Ogorude and Edda areas of Ebonyi and Cross River states have so far been stabilised.
“Due to regular patrols and search operations on confirmed criminal hideouts, some recovery of ammunition has been made. Following a tip-off, troops of 342 raided a criminal den and arrested four cultists in the Umukpo and Omoglogo villages in Ohuba community of the Ohaji Egbema LGA of Imo State. They have since been handed over to the police for further action.”