A suspected serial pipeline vandal and strike force leader of the Niger Delta Avengers has been arrested by the Nigerian Navy in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State.
The suspect, Abraham Suru, also known as Gabon from Ondo State, was arrested weeks after he had been declared wanted by the Nigerian military for being responsible for the incessant attacks on oil and gas facilities within Warri North and South-West LGAs of the state.
Parading the suspect before reporters at the Warri Navy Base on Thursday, the Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Delta, Commodore Joseph Dzunve, said the suspect was arrested on Tuesday September 20 around Sapele where he had been hiding.
Dzunve noted that Gabon’s arrest was as a result of the intense efforts by the Navy throughtheOperation Delta Safeto flush out militants and other criminal elements from the region.
The naval chief said, “As part of the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to stop crude oil theft and illegal bunkering activities in the nation’s maritime domain, the Nigerian Navy Ship Delta, being part of theOperation Delta Safe, has arrested a notorious gang leader who had been in this business since 2011.
“He (Abraham Suru aka Gabon) is involved in pipeline vandalism, sea robbery, illegal bunkering and currently a suspected member of the Niger Delta Avengers.”
He added, “The Nigerian Navy remains committed to apprehending those behind all forms of criminal activities in the Nigerian maritime domain. Let me assure the general public that the navy component of ODS is resolute in curbing criminal activities in the nation maritime environment.”
Dzunve explained that the arrested Gabon was the ring leader of one of the cell groups within the NDA whose team members including one General Felix had earlier been arrested by security operatives.
The arrested Suru confessed to being a militant and blowing up oil facilities in the region including one at Dibi community in Warri North LGA.
He said although he was not a member of the NDA, he was recruited into the criminal act by General Alphapolo, a former militant leader who died in a motor accident in 2011.
He said, “General Alphapolo told me that the youths were not being recognised by oil companies in the area and that was why we were attacking facilities. But after General Alphapolo died in a motor accident, I was contacted by one General Tony Felix to join their team because they knew I was capable of blowing up oil facilities. I am not a member of the Niger Delta Avengers.”
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