Korobe Menele, better known as ‘Mene’, a notorious cultist and oil thief, has been killed in a combined security operation in Rivers state.
The gun battle that ensued between the oil thief and security operatives left one Nigerian army personnel and two Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) officers dead.
Colonel Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director Army Public Relations confirming the incident said, “In the early hours of today Sunday the 16th of June 2019, troops of 29 Battalion of 6 Division Nigerian Army (NA) in conjunction with personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) guarding Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Trans National Pipelines at Gio community in Tai Local Government Area (LGA) of Rivers State were attacked by suspected militants who were hitherto prevented from vandalizing 24 and 28 TNP, thereby putting them out of the illicit business.
“Unfortunately, during the ensuing firefight one soldier and two personnel of the NSCDC lost their lives and their weapons (one AK 47 and 2 G3 rifles) were carted away by the assailants.
“An immediate reinforcement by troops at the location led to the cordon and search of the general area with the view to finding any criminal believed to be harbouring within the communities.
“Reliable intelligence led to the tracking of the prime suspect, a notorious cultist and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele Loveday who has been on the wanted list of the security agencies for terrorizing communities in the state.
“Consequently, at about 9:00am, troops cashing on available information sighted a white Toyota Hilux vehicle without a number plate, hastily driven with four occupants.
“Efforts to stop the vehicle by troops at a checkpoint was ignored. The gallant troops chased the speeding vehicle and caught up with the suspects around Kira Junction, along Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic.
“Sensing danger, the occupants opened fire at the troops in a bid to escape. Troops reacted and incapacitated the militants’ vehicle. As a result, the bandits abandoned their vehicle and fled to the bush.
“However, one of the criminals was gunned down and was identified as the wanted notorious cultists and illegal oil bunkering kingpin Korobe Menele, popularly known as MENE. Other cult members escaped with gunshot wounds.
“The following teams were recovered from the scene and in the vehicle: 1 x K2 Rifle, 2 x Magazines loaded with 52 Rounds of 5.56mm, some personal effects, one pair of vehicle plate number KRK 95DP RIVERS and some documents,” he concluded.
At the time of filing this report, the victims’ remains have been handed to the appropriate authorities while all exhibits were presented to the NSCDC for further investigations.