Speaking with journalists on Tuesday after receiving some repentant criminals in the state, Ortom said he got a call that Gana was arrested in Gboko and immediately reached out to the army authorities.
The governor wondered why the army would arrest Gana because the security agencies are aware of the state government’s amnesty programme.
“It was around 4pm when we were waiting for the repentant militias that I received a call that Gana and others have been arrested close to Yandev roundabout in Gboko by soldiers,” he said.
“Many of the repentant militias had weapons in which they were bringing to surrender to us. The process of the amnesty programme was known to the security operatives, so I don’t know why they have to be arrested.
“Immediately I got the information, I contacted the commander of Operation Whirl Stroke, General Yekini, who told me that they were carrying out an operation and promised to get back to me, so I am still waiting for him.”
But the governor’s account runs contrary to that of the army.
Moundhey Ali, commander of ‘4 special forces command’, had told journalists that Gana was killed along Gbese-Makurdi road after an exchange of gunfire.
“At about 13:00 hours, there was an engagement with the convoy of Gana, a shoot-out ensued and the bandit was killed,” Ali told reporters.
Eye witness account
” have mixed feelings on this.
I’m not happy because he wasn’t killed in a gun duel, neither was he captured.
He was snatched from the convoy of traditional rulers and Bishop in charge of Katsina-Ala LGA of Benue State.
My worker witnessed the killing live and direct.
The governor’s account is correct. The military got information that he surrendered after pleas and promises of his safety by the traditional rulers and Catholic bishop in charge of Katsina-Ala LGA. The army mounted a stop and search roadblock at Yandev, Gboko, it was PLANNED. They brought him out of the car he was in (He was with the LGA chairman in the same vehicle).
They delayed the convoy while they hastily took him away as if they were bringing him to govt house. Less than 2 minutes drive from there, still on the high way, they pulled him out of the vehicle, faced him down on the road and Special Forces including Military men opened fired on him there before throwing him back to the car.