Nigerian Concord Newspapers
Confirmed sources at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja on Saturday night hinted Nigerian Concord that the Nigerian Army have got a nod from the Presidency to investigate the executive governor of Benue state, Mr. Samuel Ortom, a member representing Katsina Ala federal constituency, Honourable Emmanuel Udende, and some top associates of the governor following the arrest of a wanted Boko Haram leader, Aliyu Yaminu Tershaku whom was harboured by the Benue state government.
Tershaku who was wanted by various Nigerian Security agencies in connection with his roles in several terrorist attacks which were carried out by Boko Haram in 2011 was appointed by Governor Samuel Ortom as the Commander of the Benue State Livestock Guards.
According to our Defence Headquarters sources, Tershaku, in his first report, has confessed to the Army that arrested and took him to Abuja last night that it was Honourable Emmanuel Udende who introduced him to Ortom in 2015 as a capable hand to head the state government militants group.
Tershaku also told his interrogators that it was true that he is on the state government payroll as an assistant to Governor Ortom on special security.
He also confessed that all the weapons which members of the militia group as well as the ones that were found on him during his arrest in Makurdi yesterday were provided for them by the Ortom-led administration.
However, our sources have confirmed that the Nigerian Army have concluded their investigation that Tershaku and members of his militia group who are operating and hiding under the Benue State Livestock Guards, are the people behind the recent killings in the state.
Although, our sources said the suspect has not own up to the allegation, Nigerian Concord can authoritatively report that the first investigation report of the Nigerian Army has pointed at him and his gang as the masterminds of this week attacks which led to the killings of two Catholic priests and 17 worshippers in Gwer East local government.
The Army’s report also indicted Tershaku and his gang as the brain behind another attack which claimed 13 persons and several properties in Guma local government on Tuesday.
Our sources hinted that based on the Army’s request, President Mohammadu Buhari directed Vice President Yemi Osibajo to monitor the authorization given to the security agency to investigate why the Benue state governor would appoint a wanted terrorist into such sensitive position.
Part of the approval which the Army got from the Presidency was that Honourable Udende should be thoroughly investigated since Tershaku has confessed that he was introduced to Ortom by the lawmaker, and also that members of the militia group do meet at his (Udende) Makurdi residence.
It would be recalled that this newspaper had three months ago reported that Udende was camping several militias who were freshly raised for Governor Ortom in his Makurdi residence.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 707 Special Forces Brigade in Makurdi, Mr. Olabisi Ayeni, has officially confirmed that Tershaku who was arrested yesterday in Makurdi by a combined team of troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade, Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services is believed to have masterminded most of the recent attacks in Benue State.
Making this known in his statement, Ayeni said that the Army’s investigation revealed that Tershaku has concluded plans with his cohorts in Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Nasarawa states to launch a major attack on innocent citizens in Benue State throughout next week.
It would be recalled that Tershaku’s arrest followed an outburst by the Nigerian Army that the recent attacks and killings in Benue state were sponsored by the state government under Governor Samuel Ortom.
All the attacks took place while Governor Ortom was holidaying in far away China.