The Nigerian military on Monday uncovered an illegal gun factory in Logo Local Government Area of the Benue State and arrested two manufacturers.
The Commander, Operation Whirl Stroke, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, said this while parading the two suspects before newsmen at the OPWS headquarters located at the Tactical Air Command in Makurdi on Monday.
Yekini explained that his men, about five weeks ago, received reports of some illegal weapon manufacturers operating between Ukum and Logo local government areas of the state.
“On getting the report, our intelligence team set out to investigate and after four weeks of surveillance, we were able to arrest the culprits,” Yekini said.
Yekini said two suspects, Atii Cephas and Mnzuga Teryila, were arrested in Anyiin, Logo and Ukum local government areas.
Corroborating his boss, the Sector Commander of OPWS in charge of Logo and Ukum areas, Capt. Samuel Okenarhe, said “On March 24, 2019, we got information that two persons had AK-47 in Anyiin town. But before we got there, I heard that some of the locals were already lynching one of them.
“On sighting us, they ran away and we arrested the person with the AK-47 and when we interrogated him, he told us that he manufactured the weapons in Tine Unune in Ukum LGA. Same evening, we got another report that the suspect who ran away was seen in his house and we laid ambush and got him that night in Zaki Biam Ukum LGA. He led us to the manufacturing plant. We raided the place and recovered several weapons that are in different stages of completion.”
During interview with journalists, one of the suspects, Atii, said he started manufacturing weapons about two years ago after his return from studies abroad and was confronted with financial challenges.
“I started this arms business when I returned from Europe two years ago. All I had vanished due to witchcraft and I had to start all over again. I had this idea of arms manufacturing and I thought to go into it to get money.
“I studied telecommunication engineering but I had no job. I needed to do something to make money. I learnt arms manufacturing in Mauritania. I have so far supplied over 16 arms including pistols which sell for N50,000 each and AK-47 which is sold for between N320,000.00 and N350,000,”Atii stated.
However, Yekini said that investigation was ongoing, adding that the troops were on the trail of other members of the group.