Authorities of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) say operatives have arrested a total of 84 notorious criminal suspects within the past month.
In a communique on Wednesday, Police Spokesman, CP Frank Mba noted that the arrests follow the ongoing implementation of a robust security action plan to protect citizens and critical national infrastructure across the country.
“A total of forty-five (45) sophisticated firearms and ammunition including 1-GPMG, 1-LAR rifle, 17-AK47 rifles, 2-Pump Action rifles, 20- locally fabricated firearms, 3-single barrel guns, 9899- live ammunition of different calibres, 80-fake vehicle number plates, 1- Toyota Camry with Reg. No. AA 792 HJA and 1-Toyota Corolla LE with Reg. No. QAP 622 AA, were recovered from the suspects in the operations.
“The suspects were arrested for their involvement in series of violent crimes including terrorism, banditry, kidnap for ransom, possession, and proliferation of illegal weapons, armed robbery, unlawful production of vehicle number plates, etc. While many of the suspects were arrested in follow-up on cases of violent crimes under investigation, many others were arrested after being subdued following a gun duel with the police who took the battle to the doorsteps of the criminals,” the police image-maker stated.
CP Mba further revealed that notably amongst the cases is the arrest of four (4) members of a notorious criminal gang responsible for carrying out some of the high-profile kidnaps for ransom operations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Bauchi, and the Plateau States.
“The suspects are Umar Abdullahi ‘m’ 40yrs of kali Kura village, Giwa LGA, Kaduna State, Yusuf Tanimu ‘m’ 23yrs of Kurena, Zaria, Kaduna State, Mamuda Suleiman ‘m’ 40yrs of Barkin Ladi, Plateau State and Abubakar Yaro ‘m’ 38yrs from Wase village, Plateau State.”
Investigations revealed that the gang is linked to series of kidnap for ransom crimes including the kidnapping of some senior staff of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, family members of notable political appointees, and business entrepreneurs in Kaduna State and other contiguous State.
A further inquiry suggested that the suspects were at an advanced stage of operationalizing their plans to kidnap a Catholic Bishop in Zaria when they were apprehended.
In addition to their kidnapping enterprise, the gang also supplies arms and ammunition to Bandits at Birnin Gwarri, Kaduna State, Niger, Katsina, and Zamfara States.
“One (1) General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), two (2) AK47 rifles, six thousand, five hundred and nine (6,509) live ammunition were recovered from the syndicate during the operation,” the police communique read in parts.
Mr Mba also disclosed that the police team arrested a 7-man criminal syndicate that specializes in the manufacturing and supplies of locally fabricated AK-47 rifles and ammunition to bandits in forests along the Kaduna-Abuja expressway and Funtua – Kankara expressway in Katsina State.
“The suspects are; Dung Michael ‘m’ 26yrs, Dung James ‘m’ 29yrs, Bulus Iliya ‘m’ 25yrs, Markus Danladi ‘m’ 25yrs, Danjuma Dachu ‘m’ 25yrs all from Jos South and Samaila Abdullahi ‘m’ 45yrs from Toro in Bauchi State, Maek Danladi ‘m’ 30yrs from Chukum, Kaduna State. In a similar vein, one Abubakar Mohammed a.k.a Mallam Buzu from Mali who is a transnational gun-runner was arrested by the Police team in Tsamiya, a border town between the Benin Republic and Nigeria. He was arrested with a GPMG ammunition chain drive with a holding capacity of 1,600 rounds of ammunition.”
In addition, three (3) suspects responsible for the production of fake vehicle number plates including a replica of number plates of government, diplomatic and security agencies were arrested. Investigations revealed that the suspects supply the number plates to criminal elements who use the same to beat security checks during their operations. A total of eighty (80) fake number plates were recovered from the gang.
The Inspector-General of Police, Ag. IGP Usman Alkali Baba, while affirming that the kinetic and non-kinetic approaches targeted at re-ordering security in the country are already yielding positive results, reassured citizens of the renewed commitment of the Force to the fight against crimes and criminality.
He called for sustained support for the police and the security community as efforts are intensified to enhance public safety, peace, and security.
All the suspects will be charged to court on completion of investigations.