The Nigeria Army has confirmed the killing of Mr Terwase Akwaza, alias “Gana,” the ‘most wanted criminal’ in Benue state.
The Commander, 4 Special Forces Command, Doma, Nasarawa state, Maj. -Gen. Moundhey Ali, told newsmen on Tuesday that Gana was killed along Gbese-Gboko-Makurdi road following an exchange of gunfire.
The Benue State Government had in 2015 granted amnesty to over 500 persons including Gana, who were terrorising parts of Benue and Taraba states, but most of them relapsed into criminality.
Gana was later in 2017, declared wanted by the Police while the Benue placed N10 million bounty on him.
Ali said, “About 12:00 hours on Tuesday, we received strategic information on the movement of the dreaded bandit Terwase Akwaza Agbadu AKA Gana along Gbese-Gboko-Makurdi road.
“Troops of Operation ‘Ayem Akpatuma III’ moved swiftly and mounted roadblocks along the routes.
“At about 13:00 hours, there was an engagement with the convoy of Gana, a shoot out ensued and the bandit was killed.”
But Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom disputed the military’s claim.
According to the Governor, Gana and other members of his gang were on the way to Markurdi, the Benue State capital to accept amnesty offer of the state government after they accepted to abandon all form of criminality, including surrender of their weapons.
Governor Ortom confirmed that Gana came out after several years of hiding and surrendered for the amnesty programme in Katsina Ala township stadium in Katsina Ala local government area of Benue north senatorial zone on Tuesday.
The Governor, however, said the gang leader, who has a bounty of N10m on his head was snatched from a government’s convoy which was transporting the repentant militants in the Gboko area of the state by soldiers.
During the ambush, the Commander also said that 40 armed members of Gana’s gang were captured during the operation.
He said the captured gang members were in Army custody and would be handed over to the appropriate authority for prosecution.
Ali also disclosed that several rifles, pump-action guns, ammunition, charms, and explosives among other items were recovered from the gang.
He said Gana’s corpse had been deposited in an undisclosed hospital mortuary.