SaharaReporters has reliably learned that the dreaded wanted militant warlord, Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo also known as "Kareowei" who was arrested Thursday by operatives of the Joint Task Force, codenamed "Operation Delta Safe" has been shot dead during a gunfight with other members of his group who tried to rescue him.
The militant warlord who masterminded the kidnapping and murder of a British missionary, 56-year-old Ian Squire in Enekorogha, Delta state was arrested at the early hours of Thursday in Ogbobagbene community the hometown of former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Elder Goddey Orubebe in Burutu local government area of the state.
SaharaReporters gathered that gang members of the militant warlord ambushed the JTF operatives after his arrest and exchanged of gunfire which let the arrested gang leader to make an attempt to escape, he was shot and instantly killed by operatives of "Operation Delta Safe."
A statement obtained by SaharaReporters confirming the killing of militant was signed by Ibrahim Abdullahi, Major Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, said after the arrest of the militant warlord his gang members ambushed the JTF operatives leading to a gun battle that resulted in his death.
"In line with the Joint Task Force (JTF) OPERATION DELTA SAFE (OPDS) mandate to protect critical Oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region, a deliberate operation codenamed "Op EMBER SAFE" was conducted by the force. This operation was aimed at tackling the security challenges posed to safety of lives and critical oil and gas facilities in the region. Consequently, a 7 day clearance operation was initiated by the Commander of JTF, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman to sanitize the region of militants, cultists, sea robbers, kidnappers and other criminals.
"During the operation, precisely on Thursday, January 11th, 2018, a notorious militant leader Peregbakumo Oyawerikumo also known as ‘Karowei’ and his criminal gang were arrested. It could be recalled that Mr. Karowei and his criminal gang abducted four (4) British Missionaries on October 13th, 2017 in Burutu local government area of Delta State which led to the unfortunate death of one of the Britons, Ian Squire. Karowei and his gang were also responsible for several abductions and kidnappings, robberies and raping of innocent women in the region including unprovoked attacks on military locations in Delta and Bayelsa States.
"Also on January 2018, Karowei and his gang attacked own troops at Bolu Ndoro forest which led to the death of four (4) Military OPDS personnel. After his arrest, Mr. Karowei confessed to several criminal acts and led troops to his camp to recover the cache of arms and ammunition in his possession as well as to persuade other members of his gang to surrender. However, in a twist of events, Karowei’s recalcitrant group laid an ambush and attacked Task Force troops in a gun battle at his camp deep in the forest."
According to Mr. Abdullahi, Major Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, in a bid to rescue Karowei from the troops, "The superior firepower, resilience and gallantry of our troops countered this snap attack which resulted in the death of several of Karowei’s henchmen and the kingpin, Karowei who tried to flee to rejoin his cohorts."
The statement, however, commended and appreciated the support of the locals within communities in Burutu local government area of the state and Ekeremor local government area of Bayelsa state in finally uprooting the notorious criminal.
"The Commander, Joint Task Force, OPERATION DELTA SAFE, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman deeply appreciates the support of the locals within communities in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State and Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State in finally uprooting this notorious criminal, who in conjunction with his gang have constituted serious security menace around the general area.
"The Commander Joint Task Force also wishes to seek additional selfless support from law-abiding citizens to uproot all criminals causing mayhem within the Niger Delta. He urges all to go about their legitimate businesses as the waterways are now safe and secure. Furthermore, he assures the local communities of the Task Force’s commitments to stem all criminalities in the Niger Delta in line with the mandate of the Chief of Defence Staff as well as strategic expectations of the Joint Task Force." the statement added.