Kelvin Ibruvwe, the Niger Delta’s most wanted kidnap kingpin and leader of the Liberation Movement for the Urhobo People (LIMUP), he has been arrested today in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.
Mr. Ibruvwe’s arrest came barely a week after he brashly gave the Federal and Delta State governments a 60-day ultimatum to develop the Urhobo area, particularly his community, Kokori in Ethiope East local government area, or risk heavy attacks on oil facilities.
Two security sources told SaharaReporters that the notorious kidnapper was arrested on Wednesday morning by a special squad of the State Security Services (SSS) deployed from the agency’s headquarters in Abuja. “We were also assisted by some local security operatives based in Delta State to apprehended Henry at the early hours of today,” one of the sources said.
Our correspondent was told that Kokori town had been taken over by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) who mounted a coordinated attack to arrest other members of LIMUP as soon as the news of Ibruvwe’s arrest filtered into the community.
A source in Kokori disclosed that the arrival of the JTF operatives sparked off an exchange of gun battle between members of LIMUP and the JTF. “The JTF people brutalized many people in our community. Some youths and men were arrested while some women were beaten for daring to prevent arrest of their husbands and children,” the source said. The source added that many residents had fled the community for fear of further reprisals and possible mistreatment by the JTF.
Last week, Mr. Ibruvwe and other members of his gang staged a dramatic event where they brandished sophisticated weapons while issuing an ultimatum to the Goodluck Jonathan administration as well as the Delta State government. One police source told SaharaReporters that the group’s high-profile event had embarrassed the state commissioner of police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, and the commandant of the JTF, adding that the two law enforcement officials almost earned reprimands from their bosses in Abuja.
“Because of the embarrassment Henry caused, orders were issued to trail him and arrest him by all means,” said the source.