By Harriosn Arubu
Abuja – The police on Friday declared one Terwase Akwaza a.k.a `Ghana’, wanted, in connection with the March 20th killing of 17 persons by gunmen in Zaki Biam, Benue.
Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Jimoh Moshod, made this known while parading before newsmen in Abuja, 19 suspects, including two women, allegedly involved in the crime.
Moshod said investigation revealed that Awaza was also responsible for the killing of Mr Desen Igbana, Special Adviser on Security to Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue.
He alleged that the suspect was the leader of a “ vicious and notorious serial killer syndicate” responsible for the killing of the 17 persons and 50 others in other locations in Benue.
According to him, Akwaza is also responsible for many kidnappings, armed robberies and cult violence that led to loss of lives and property in other parts of Benue.
“The 19 suspects were arrested for conspiracy and other criminal roles they played in the killing of innocent persons carried out by Terwase Akwaza a.k.a Ghan in Benue.
“During interrogation, the suspects admitted to be cohorts of the wanted suspect and have facilitated the commission of some of the offences linked to him at different times in Benue and other states,’’ he alleged.
Jimoh said the suspects were currently in police custody and would soon be charged to court.
He also displayed a cache of arms and ammunition allegedly recovered from Akwaza’s secret underground armoury in a forest in Benue by a joint team of police, military and DSS personnel.
The recovered items include three AK-47 and FN rifles, one G3 rifle, 36 hand grenades, 141 AK-47 magazines, 536 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition and 29 rounds of 9mm ball ammunition,
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the killing took place on Monday, March 20, when about 30 men armed with sophisticated weapons, stormed the town around 3 p.m.
They were said to have arrived in a pick-up van, Toyota Corolla and seven big motorcycles and fired continuously into the air to scare away people.
Igbana was shot dead at his Tionsha residence by unknown gunmen in the early hours of Friday, May 20, 2016.