Notorious kidnapper and cultist, Mr. Igwedibia Johnson, popularly known as Don Wani, who allegedly masterminded the killing of 23 persons in Omoku in Rivers state, has been killed by a joint operation by the DSS and the army.
Wani, a suspected militant leader, was confirmed killed in a combined operation by the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Army at a border town between Rivers and Imo.
Wani had terrorized residents of Ogba/Egbema Local government area of Rivers state for years. He allegedly fuels his violence with royalty collected from oil companies operating the area.
Wani escaped death in late 2017 when a joint team of vigilante stormed his residence and chased him out of town. He allegedly escaped with gun wounds.
Wani later made statements on radio alleging that he was being witch-hunted and denying all allegations of violence and killings levelled against him.
An attack on residents returning from church on new year eve left 15 persons dead and with allegations that Don Wani orchestrated the attacks.
The Rivers state government announced a 200 million naira bounty for information leading to the arrests of suspects responsible for the attack. The federal government initiated a partnership with state government and a manhunt was launched in search of Wani and his cohorts.
A source said the incident happened at about 5 p.m. on Saturday.
The Rivers Director of DSS, Mr Tosin Ajayi, said: “No comment for now,” when he was contacted to comment on the incident.
Government Partnership Against Insecurity
The federal government moved into partnership with the Rivers state government against insecurity in the state immediately after the Omoku attacks.
The minister of interior, Lt General Abdulrahman Danbazzau, paid a visit to the governor Nyesom Wike at the Government House Port Harcourt on the 5th of January 2018 to cement the new pact.
The governor had earlier alleged that cult-related violence was being orchestrated to make the state unsafe and paint it in a bad light.
Acceptance of State Amnesty
In July 2016, Don Wani accepted the Rivers state Amnesty programme and surrendered over 145 AK4f automatic rifles, dozens of military uniforms and other ammunition.
The event was televised and Wani and his boys ended the event with several gunshots fired into the air.
Spates of Kidnapping Incidence
Meanwhile, the kidnappers of Mrs Tina Inegbagha, Wife of the Paramount Ruler of Ayakoro community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa have demanded N5 million ransom to release her.
Mrs Inegbagha, who spent the Christmas and New Year at the kidnappers den, was abducted at the palace of her husband on Dec. 16, 2017.
Mr Majesty Inegbagha, a member of the Monarchs family, who confirmed the development in Yenagoa, said the kidnappers had earlier contacted the family demanding for N100 million.
“The kidnappers are now demanding N5 million, yes, they contacted us earlier demanding for N100 million but later reduced the ransom to N30 million and now N5 million.
“We have been able to establish contact with the kidnappers of her majesty and we have also spoken with her on phone,’’ he said.
Inegbagha lamented the inability of the family to raise the money and pleaded with the kidnappers to release the monarch’s wife unconditionally.
“Where can we get that money? We have been appealing to them to help us and release her to us,” he pleaded.
Mrs Inegbagha was kidnapped alongside the Principal of the Government Craft Development Centre in the Community.
Also relatives of the abducted Chief of Agom Akulu in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Mr Yohana Sidi Kukah, said they were yet to receive a phone call from the alleged kidnappers.
A Community Leader in Ikulu, Dr Yusuf Tanko, said that no one within the family of the traditional ruler or anyone in the community had been contacted by the kidnappers 24 hours after his abduction.#
“Usually, kidnappers would contact a family member but we are yet to receive any,” he said.
Tanko claimed that no fewer than 13 kidnappers came on footpath and arms.
Another resident, Mr Micha Dauda, said the suspected kidnappers walked on footpath after carrying out their act from Ikulu through to Crossing village.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Mukhtar Aliyu, said the command was told about the incident at 8.45 a.m and effort had been put in place to unravel the abductors.