Troops arrest Traditional ruler in Benue over alleged possession of illegal weapons
Troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) were reported to have stormed the palace of two traditional rulers in Ukum local government area of Benue State on Saturday.
The district head of Cha(Mue Ter Cha), H R H, Chief Utambe Adzer was reportedly arrested while Chief Teran Kwanghbo was said to have escaped through the backdoor of his palace.
According to military sources, the troops stormed the palaces of the monarchs based on intelligence reports.
The escaped district head was said to have left his palace when the report reached him that his colleague had been arrested.
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The military source said, “Troops swooped on the houses of two people discovered to be district heads in Ukum local government area of Benue State on Saturday and some arms and ammunition were recovered, a military source said.
The source further disclosed that one Ak47 assault rifle, one mag, 20 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, one locally made mortar tube, and one vehicle were allegedly recovered from Chief Utambe Adzer.
A local source also confirmed that some soldiers were sighted at the palace of Mue Ter Cha.
The local source who identified himself as Kajo said that people of the area were surprised to see soldiers in the community who arrested their Chief.
“We also saw them bringing out some arms which we heard were discovered in his house.
“They equally raised down the round hut located in the palace suspected to be housing the weapons and some criminal elements.
“Also Saturday morning the military troops were also seen in Lumbuv District where they also attempted to arrest the District Head whom they (Soldiers) believed harbored illegal arms. However, information got to the chief and he escaped the arrest.
When contacted, Force Commander of OPWS, Brigadier General Clement Apere declined to comment, saying he couldn’t speak on operations yet to be concluded.
He, however, directed our correspondent to the Information Unit of the Defence Headquarters Abuja.
Recall that Benue State Government had imposed a curfew on three local government areas of Ukum, Katsina-Ala, and Logo known as Sankera axis over the high rate of insecurity since the killing of the State warlord, Terwase Akwaza aka Gana by soldiers in September 2020.