More facts emerge on Wednesday about the circumstances surrounding the killing of a notorious militia leader in Benue State, Terwase Akwaza, aka Gana, by the military on Tuesday despite his embracing amnesty.
A community leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in Makurdi, the state capital, said Gana was in a government convoy when he was dragged out of a car by soldiers at a checkpoint in Gbitse, near Yandev roundabout in the Gboko Local Government Area of the state.
The community leader told Newsmen the militia leader was thrown into a military vehicle and driven away.
Recall that the Commander of Operation Ayem A Kpatuma, Major General Ali Gadzama, on Tuesday claimed that Gana was killed in a gun battle with soldiers.
Benue state government had in 2015 granted amnesty to over 500 persons including Gana, who were terrorising parts of Benue and Taraba states, but most of them relapsed into criminality
Gana was later in 2017, declared wanted by the Police after he was fingered in various criminal acts including the murder of the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Samuel Ortom on Special Security, Denen Igbana.
He was also alleged to be behind the various criminal acts in the Sankara areas of the state.
A bounty of N5 million was earlier promised anyone who could give information that would lead to Gana’s arrest in 2018. The ransom was later upped to N10 million and then N50 million.
However, the militia leader had recently at a meeting with prominent indigenes of the Sankera District of the state, embraced amnesty for the second time.
Leaders of the district, after the meeting then pleaded with state government to grant the second amnesty to their repented armed youths to which the Gov. Samuel Ortom agreed.
The community leader said, “He (Gana) actually came out because of the assurance given by the prominent indigenes and traditional rulers and he was not armed when he was dragged out of the car and taken away to be killed.
“The militia leader sat in-between the Chairman of the Katsina-Ala Local Government Area, Alfred Atera, and a priest in one of the cars in the government convoy.”
He said the convoy was stopped by soldiers at a checkpoint in Gbitse on its way to Makurdi for the amnesty programme.
He stated, “As soon as we got to the military checkpoint, some soldiers who spotted Gana had to pull down the priest, drag Gana into their waiting vehicle and zoom off.”