The Nigerian Army, through the Operation Akpakwu, said it had uncovered an abandoned structure on Parliamentary Road in Calabar municipality serving as a hideout for criminals.
The Commander, 13 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Brigadier General M. A. Abdullahi, who was represented by Major S. N. Ikpeme, told journalists at the Brigade Headquarters on Monday that the discovery followed the trail of eight suspects, who had allegedly dispossessed one Mr Akan Udoh of N25,000.
According to him, three of the suspects have been handed over to the police for prosecution, while five are on the run.
He said the fourth suspect handed over to the police, Peter Obri, was arrested with a locally-made pistol at a rubber plantation in Biase, while his accomplice, one Bassey, was on the run.
Ikpeme stated, “Three suspects, Micah Edet, Bassey Udoh and Emmanuel Bassey, were arrested by members of the NSCDC attached to Operation Akpakwu on February 8, 2021 for robbing one Mr Akan Udoh of the sum of N25,000.
“During investigation, it was discovered that the compound in question was a black spot with an abandoned structure, where criminals sleep at night.
“Peter Obri, 25, was also arrested on January 13, 2021 at the Ibiae rubber plantation with a locally-made pistol, while attempting to steal palm fruits from the plantation.”
Ikpeme further said the suspects had been handed over to the Cross River State Police Command for further investigation and prosecution.
Speaking to journalists, one of the suspects, Obri, denied going to the plantation for robbery.
He stated, “A friend of mine asked me to accompany him to convey banga (palm fruits) and on our way, he gave me this locally-made pistol.
“I asked him what he wanted to use it for and he said just hold it for me. When we got there, we did not see the banga and unknown to us, the Army had laid an ambush for us and caught me in the process, while my friend escaped.
“I am an okada rider by profession and I don’t know why he asked me to hold the pistol for him.”