Nigerian Army

Python Dance 3: Troops rescue 2 kidnap victims, arrest robbery suspect in Abia

Troops of Operation Egwu Eke III, also known as Operation Python Dance 3, have rescued two kidnap victims around Owerrinta general area of Abia.

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Col. Sagir Musa, Deputy Director Public Relations of 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, made this known in a statement in Enugu on Tuesday.

The statement was entitled; “Update on Exercise Egwu Eke III in South-East Geo-Political Zone between Jan. 20 and Jan. 27.”

Musa said that based on a distress call at about 5 p.m. on Jan. 22 that alerted troops of a kidnap incident at Ubakala Junction along Owerrinta general area of Abia, troops of Sector 2, Sub-sector Charlie successfully cordoned and searched the area.

“Consequently, the kidnappers abandoned their victims – Mrs Loveth Nonye Ofoegbu and Mr Kaodi Onuaha.

“The rescued persons have been handed over to the Police Command in Abia for further actions,’’ he said.

He also said that following credible information, troops of Sector 2, Sub-sector Alfa, at about 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 24 raided a hideout of suspected armed robbers in Ahaba Imenyi community of Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia.

The army spokesman said that a suspect, Mr Chidiebere Orji, was arrested while others were at large.

“Preliminary investigations indicated that the gang members are behind the robbery of Mr and Mrs Kelechi Orji at their residence in Ahaba Imenyi community where they carted away N4 million.

“Items recovered from their hideout included a locally made pistol, two unexploded cartridges and two cell phone handsets.

“The suspect and the items will be handed over to the Police Command in Abia for possible prosecution,’’ Musa said.

He noted that based on a distress call of likely crisis by proscribed IPOB members, who forced their way into St. Mary Catholic Church, Abayi Ariaria in Aba at about 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, troops and police operatives effectively salvaged the situation.

“At the scene, it was reported that IPOB members were shouting `no elections in Biafra land’ and also attempted to beat Rev. Fr. Nathaniel Onyedike. A vehicle and some chairs were reportedly damaged in and within the church premises.

“Consequently, five IPOB members were arrested and handed over to the police and a check point had been established at Ariaria to monitor the situation. The area is calm and routine activities are smoothly being conducted,’’ he said.

Musa said that troops on routine patrol at Uzuabam axis were alerted of farmers-herders clash at Ndi Okereke community in Arochukwu Local Government Area, where some herdsmen were alleged to have allowed a flock of cows to destroy some farm crops.

The army spokesman said that the incident led to the killing of five cows.

“The Police Area Commander of Ohafia and Personal Assistant to Abia Governor on Mobilization, Mr Chukwuma Ndika, conveyed a peace meeting at the community hall between the two factions with a view to finding lasting solution to the crisis. Situation has been normalised at the moment,’’ he said.

Musa said that communal conflict between Azoruike autonomous community and Amanator autonomous community of Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia was averted by troops of Sector 2, Sub sector Alfa in 14 Brigade Area of Responsibility in conjunction with police.

“The incident happened on Jan. 27, and has led to the destruction of few houses, cars and motorcycles,” he said.

He said that normalcy had returned to the general area, while peace talk initiated by the Police Command in Abia was ongoing between elders of both communities.

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