The military in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has said its troops killed a notorious kidnapper and oil bunkering kingpin, one Korobe Loveday in gun duel on Sunday.
In a statement on Monday morning, by Col. Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director Army Public Relations, said: “In the early hours of Sunday the 16th of June 2019, troops of 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines at Gio community in Tai Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State were attacked by suspected militants who were hitherto prevented from vandalizing 24″ and 28″ TNP thereby putting them out of the illicit business.
“Unfortunately, during the ensuing fire fight one soldier and 2 personnels of the NSCDC lost their lives and their weapons (one AK 47 and 2 G3 rifles) were carted away by the assailants.
“An immediate reinforcement by troops at the location led to the cordon and search of the general area with the view to finding any criminal believed to be harbouring within the communities.
“Reliable intelligence led to the tracking of the prime suspect, a notorious cultist and illegal oil bunkering kingpin, Korobe Menele Loveday, who has been on the wanted list of the security agencies for terrorizing communities in the state.
“Consequently, at about 9:00am, troops cashing on available information sighted a white Toyota Hilux vehicle without number plate, hastily driven with 4 occupants. Efforts to stop the vehicle by troops at a check point was ignored. The gallant troops chased the speeding vehicle and caught up with the suspects around Kira Junction, along Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic.
“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at the troops in a bid to escape. Troops reacted, and incapacitated the militants’ vehicle. As a result, the bandits abandoned their vehicle and fled to the bush.
“However, one of the criminals was gunned down and was identified as the wanted notorious cultists and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele – popularly known as MENE. Others with him, believed to escape with gun shot wounds – leaving trails of blood.
“The following tems were recovered from the scene and in the vehicle:, 1 x K2 Rifle, 2 x Magazines loaded with 52 Rounds of 5.56mm, some personal effects, one pair of vehicle plate number KRK 95DP RIVERS and some documents.
“The body and other recovered exhibits have been handed over to the NSCDC Rivers State Command for further action, while troops continue to track the remaining fleeing bandits to face justice.
“The General Officer Commanding 6 Division Major General Jamil Sarham use this opportunity to rereaffirm the commitment of the Division in protecting lives and properties of law abiding citizens in Rivers state. He also solicits the cooperation of all stakeholders in tackling insecurity within the Niger Delta region through sharing of credible information to the security agencies,” the statement said.