The Defence headquarters appear not willing to speak on the killing of a notorious militia leader in Benue State, Terwase Akwaza, aka Gana, by the military on Tuesday.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, refused to engage the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and other political leaders who had condemned the incident.
Gana, a wanted fugitive, was in a convoy to participate in the amnesty programme of the Benue state government when he was reportedly dragged out of a car by soldiers at a checkpoint in Gbitse, near Yandev roundabout in the Gboko Local Government Area of the state.
A community leader said the militia leader was thrown into a military vehicle and driven away.
The Commander of Operation Ayem Akpatuma, Maj. Gen. Ali Gadzama, claimed that Gana was killed in a gun battle with the soldiers.
But responding to further questions on the incident during the weekly briefing on military operations in Abuja on Thursday, Enenche said he would not be drawn into any controversy on the extrajudicial killing of the gang leader.
When asked if he was aware of the amnesty programme of the Benue state government in which Gana was a participant, the Coordinator said, “I’m aware that the governor made a statement and one of the Senators there made a statement; it is not proper to join issues with the leaders.
He added, “So if I comment now, you will now use it and join me as if I’m an umpire. Please, spare me that. If there was no reaction from there (Benue State), I could have answered you but my political masters have spoken and so, I’m not permitted by ethical standards to comment on what my superiors have spoken out.”
Asked if Ortom’s statement on Gana’s death was true, Enenche claimed that he might be misquoted, insisting that his statements might be given strange colouration.