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Don Wani, real name Igwedibia Johnson, was accused of being the mastermind of the New Year killing in Omuku, Rivers State. where Children and women were among the 23 people killed in cold blood.
He was killed on Saturday by a joint force of Nigeria’s security agencies at a border town between Rivers and Imo state.
The outgoing General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Port Harcourt, Maj.- Gen. Enobong Udoh, paraded the corpses and arms and ammunition of the deceased gang members on Sunday in Port Harcourt.
He said security agencies, complying with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, trailed Don Waney and his gang members to their hideouts in Enugu.
“We are happy to inform that Don Waney, a notorious cultist, kidnap kingpin and mass murderer who masterminded the murder of 23 worshippers returning from cross over service is dead.
“We traced Waney and some of his gang members to their hideout in Enugu town where they rented apartment and lived with other people in the neighbourhood like normal people.
“The criminals were killed after a combined team of troops of 82 Division Army, Enugu and personnel of Department of State Security (DSS) raided his hideout to arrest him and his members,” he said.
Udoh said the criminals on sighting the advance of security operatives to their residence attempted to escape through the back door of the apartment, but were shot by troops.
He said others shot dead were Waney’s second-in-command, Ikechukwu Adiele, and another suspected gang member, Lucky Ode.
“One of them died on the spot while the other two who sustained gunshot wounds eventually died on their way to the hospital.
“Intelligence showed that the gang was already perfecting plans to attack churches, schools; army and police locations and residents of Omoku town before the raid on his hideout,” he said.
The GOC listed weapons recovered from the gang at their hideout as three AK 47 assault rifles and eight AK 47 magazines, among others.
The Commissioner of Rivers Police Command, Zaki Ahmed, said the successful operation was proof of the commitment of security agencies to rid the state of criminals.
He said that security agencies were working in synergy to ensure that people live in harmony and peace and go about their businesses without fear of molestation.
“Young men and women should desist from joining up with gangs because at the end of the day the law would catch up with them,” he warned.
The gang members had been on the run after the army raided their camp and recovered cache of arms including seven decomposed human skulls on Nov. 21.
Don Waney and his gang members received amnesty from the Rivers Government in 2016 but later went back to crime.