The Nigerian Army has reportedly lost about N28 million cash to bandits who ambushed the military logistic convoy on reinforcement mission to quell pockets of communal clashes in Benue State.
According to Peoples Gazette, the incident occurred on Tuesday when the soldiers dispatched from Katsina-Ala Local Government Area to deliver weaponry to troops in Oju LGA (171km from Katsina-Ala) were overrun by the armed militia from Konshisha district in the state.
Senior military officers said N28 million was also with the soldiers at the time of the ambush, all of which the attackers cornered and disappeared into the night on the fringes of the Benue River.
“Yes, the bandits stole weapons and also about N28 million from the soldiers,” the senior officer said. “The entire situation has been under investigation since the headquarters heard about it.”
The official said no conspiracy was suspect on the part of the soldiers but said it was a “deeply disturbing” situation that soldiers could be easily waylaid by a ragtag group of bandits.
An officer and soldiers who took part in the operation were still missing as of Thursday morning, and the source of the money and its purpose were not immediately disclosed to The Gazette.
The logistics team, led by A.T. Adedayo — an army captain — was reported missing, including a general-purpose machine gun and over 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
Sources said the ambush site was met deserted when a reinforcement deployed at Oju stormed the scene following an alert.
A joint operation by troops of 72 Special Forces Battalion and anti-banditry formation, Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), was planned to be conducted in the area to rescue the missing soldiers, a source said.
An army spokesman could not be immediately reached for comments.
KanyiDaily had also reported how Boko Haram terrorists attacked a Nigerian military convoy in the North-East, and made away with N15 million meant for soldiers’ allowances and military equipments.