The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, yesterday, denied that two suspects, Christian Oluba, alias Sensor, and Selky Kile Torughedi, arrested by the Department of Security Service, DSS, in connection with foiled attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta, were its members.
In addition, fugitive ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, allegedly identified by Torughedi, according to the DSS, as the person that sent him to kill a serving army officer, Major M.B Yahaya, said the claim was a farce.
The DSS, had, last Friday, said it arrested Torughedi, described as a close associate of Tompolo in Calabar, Cross River State, after he had carried out reconnaissance on the home of Yahaya in Kaduna, while Sensor was seized as he was allegedly perfecting plans to carry out attacks on oil and gas pipelines, including storage points.
The security agency said both suspects were members of the NDA and that it foiled fresh plans by militants to attack oil pipelines in the region by arresting the masterminds.
Tompolo, who spoke through his Media Consultant, Paul Bebenimibo, said he never at any time recruited Torughedi, also known as Young Shall Grow, to assassinate Major Yahaya as reported. Bebenimibo asserted that Selky, who used to be close to Tompolo just as any other agitator involved in the Niger Delta struggle, was allegedly being used by the security agency to get at Tompolo.
“Apart from him, they are also using another ex-militant leader now. Like I said, I cannot tell you that Tompolo does not know Young Shall Grow. He definitely had met many of them with his position in the struggle. Some are his contemporaries, others are his boys, but that is not to say that he is in control of what they do,” he said.
“The first time they used him against Tompolo was shortly after ex-militants accepted amnesty in 2009. And if you know Tompolo, he is not the kind of person that goes for revenge, he leaves revenge for God. So I can tell you categorically that Tompolo did not send Selky to kill anybody.
“In 2006 when a Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, representative was kidnapped at Letugbene in Bayesla State and Tompolo facilitated his release, nine of his boys who went on the rescue mission were killed by soldiers, who opened fire on them when they were returning. Tompolo as their leader did not seek to revenge.
“Also in 2009 when soldiers were hunting for him, they destroyed Gbaramatu Kingdom, he did not revenge. During the latest invasion of Oporoza, nobody fired a single shot at the soldiers that ransacked the town. So, what is he avenging against Major Yahaya that he would send somebody to Kaduna to kill him?”