Brig.-Gen. Emmanuel Atewe, the Commander, Brigade of Guards of the Nigerian Army, says troops of the brigade deployed to Akwanga forest in Nasarawa State have arrested two suspected gun-runners.
Briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, Atewe said that the men were arrested on July 21 at about 10 a.m. in Akwanga for being in possession of one locally-made single barrel pump action gun.
He said that the suspects were on their way from Lafia to Panda Development area of Nasarawa at the time of the arrest.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the public to cooperate with all the security agencies by reporting illegal possession of weapons.
“Weapons are not things you play with, that is why there are people trained to handle weapons, so don’t be afraid to report any illegal possession, otherwise you make the whole place unsafe,’’ he said.
Brig.-Gen. Bola Koleoso, the Director of Army Public Relations, represented by Lt.-Col. Aliyu Yusuf, said that the men were arrested in a blue Toyota Corolla car with registration number CU 683 RBC.
He said that preliminary investigations conducted by the unit revealed that the suspects bought the item from a local manufacturer in Takpa.
Koleoso said that the Guards Brigade’s “Operation Mesa’’ raided the house of one Mr Adogo Akolo in Lafia,where locally made pistols were found.
“The raid also led to the discovery of a local arms and ammunition factory belonging to one Mr Adogo Akolo.
“The factory was used for fabricating weapons, but the manufacturer was nowhere to be found when the raid was carried out
“However, the two suspects that were arrested along with their three wives and kids, were brought to the barracks for thorough investigation,’’ he said.
The director said that most of the heavy weapons in the manufacturers’ house could not be carried by the troops but they were able to take back some of the weapons.
He listed the weapons recovered from the manufacturer’s house to include 13 Dane Guns, two locally made pistols, one welding machine, two hand drilling machines and three bench devices.
Other items recovered included 35 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition, 39 quantities of 7.62mm special ammunition, 2by 9mm ammunition, five tools boxes and charms.
A Toyota Camry car with registration number EPE 737 AG was also impounded.
He added that the Operation Mesa team was still searching to locate other members of the syndicate.
One of the suspects, however, said that he bought the gun to protect himself and his family.