Don Wani's expansive mansion came crashing down on Tuesday, as security operatives kept a close eye on events.
Don Wani—the kidnap kingpin and cultist—had been shot dead on Saturday, January 6, 2018 by law enforcement after he allegedly masterminded the murder of 22 worshippers on New Year’s day.
“Our mission was to make sure no one stood in the way of the demolition of the mansion”, one police officer who was part of the operation told Pulse on the condition of anonymity because he hadn’t been authorized to comment on the subject.
Before noon, Don Wani’s multi-million Naira mansion had been reduced to rubble.
The mansion was an expansive affair, boasting an Olympic size swimming pool, a water fountain and luxury fittings. It was here that a previous military raid had turned up skeletons, skulls, a cache of sophisticated weapons, dynamites and military camouflages.
According to Colonel Aminu Iliyasu who is Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, “Recall that in the early hours of Monday 20th November 2017, troops of 6 Division Nigerian Army acting on credible information from some patriotic members of the public, raided the evil Don Wani enclave in Omoku, Onelga Rivers State where shocking discoveries of assorted weapons, dynamites, bags of suspected cannabis, full military camouflage uniforms, military boots, military communication radios, 10 human skulls and human bones were discovered.
“Additionally, in continuation of the operation on Tuesday 21st November 2017, the troops also exhumed decomposing bodies of some of his victims in his shrine in the glaring eyes of the media who were invited to witness first hand”.
One resident of Omoku who identified himself as Ukandu, told Punch that security operatives watching over the demolition made sure no intruders were allowed to come any close.
"Nobody was allowed to enter the place, especially those who wanted to take photographs of what was going on. More than 15 Hilux vehicles brought in security agents and after that, six bulldozers came in and brought the building down," Ukandu said.
Pulse has since learnt that the demolition received the blessings of the State and federal governments.
The parcel of land on whose Don Wani’s mansion once stood, will now be ceded to the government of Rivers State.
Don Wani was one of the most feared cultists in Rivers State and the entire Niger Delta region. He lived a charmed, expensive life and was brazen in his operations.
In his address after Don Wani was confirmed dead, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers urged other violent gang leaders to turn themselves in, embrace the amnesty deal put forward by the government or risk facing an arrest and prosecution.
“The Rivers State Government will pay N20 million to any person who volunteers useful information that would lead to the arrest and prosecution of any of the cultists”, Wike promised.