By Hannah Tsado, Minna
The Operatives of operation Puff Adder from the Nigeria Police Force have rescued about 16 kidnapped victims and arrested nine suspects in Niger State.
However, the suspects were arrested in a gun battle in the process, three persons were killed.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Muhammad Dan-Inna Abubakar, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.
Items recovered were (2) AK-47 rifles, one Barreta pistol, two (2) locally made pistols, ten (10) AK-47 magazines and 109 AK-47 ammunition in Mashegu, Bangi, Lapai and Rafi Local Government Areas of the State respectively within two (2) months.
“On 29th April, 19 at about 0200hrs, acting on information that armed bandits blocked Sahorami-Makera road under Mashegu LGA and stopped a trailer with reg. no BLR 377 XA Gombe and kidnapped the driver, one Buba Umaru ‘m’ of Billiri, Gombe State along Tungar Mahaukaciya via Sahorami village, Mashegu LGA and took him into a nearby bush. “At about 1200hrs of the same date, operatives of operation Puff-Adder ambushed the kidnappers, engaged them in a gun battle and succeeded in gunning down one of the kidnappers and rescued the victim unhurt. One AK47 riffle loaded with 28 live ammunition was recovered.
“The Corpse of the suspect was deposited at Kontagora General Hospital. Manhunt of other suspects is in progress. In the same vein, on 26th April 2019 at about 1445hrs, acting on a tip-off, on the same date at about 0245hrs, some unknown armed men numbering about two invaded the house of one Alh. Umaru Maipeshi ‘m’ of Gidan-Kwano village via Mashegu LGA, Niger State kidnapped and took him on Bajaj motorcycle heading towards KampaniBobi village via Bangi, Niger State”.
According to him, Bangi Police Division was alerted and immediately the Policemen blocked Sabon-Gida – Kampani-Bobi road and engaged the hoodlums in a fierce gun battle.
“The Police firepower overpowered that of the hoodlums, as a result, the two suspects were gunned down and the victim was rescued unhurt. Exhibits recovered include; 1 AK47 rifle with empty magazine, 1 Bajaj motorcycle and 1 Tecno phone. In the same stroke, on 1st March 2019 at about 1800hrs, one Abubakar Ardo ‘m’ of Rafin Gora village, Mashegu LGA reported at Mashegu Division that on the same date at about 0100hrs, one Alh. Auta ‘m of Dutsen-Magaji Village in Mashegu L.G.A and ten others were kidnapped by unknown hoodlums from their houses to an unknown destination.
“Immediately, a team of Policemen from Mashegu Division gave the suspects a hot chase and the kidnappers had no option than to release the victims and fled. All the hostages were rescued unhurt. Manhunt on the kidnappers is ongoing. Similarly, On 12th March, 2019 at about 1859hrs, one Bature Abubakar ‘m’ of Fulani camp Tanagi village of Mashegu LGA, reported at Mashegu Division that on the same date at about 0200hrs, a gang of kidnappers numbering about four (4) entered their camp of same address and attacked him with machetes, sticks and kidnapped his wife Jummai Bature and one other to unknown destination. During Police investigation, one Babuga Umaru ‘m’ of the same address was arrested and confessed to having conspired with one Lawali Shehu, Babuga Shehu and one Garba ‘m’ all at large and conjointly kidnapped the victim. The victim was later rescued unhurt by a team of Policemen at Tenangi village in Mashegu L.GA.
“The Case has been charged to court. On 14th March 2019 at about 1540hrs, based on information from a reliable source Police detectives attached to Kagara Division arrested two suspected kidnappers namely; Shehu Mohammed Sani aged 25yrs and (2) Ibrahim Dahiru aged 20yrs both’ of Bena Dankuwa Saku LGA Kebbi State and Yakaji village of Mashegu LGA of Niger State”.
DSP Abubakar explained that in the cause of investigation, the suspects were linked to a kidnapping gang terrorizing the axis of Kagara, Kutigi, Bida and environs for over three months ago. The suspects stated that they once collected the ransom of N3, 000,000.00 from the family of one kidnapped victim but doesn’t know the victim but their gang leader who is now in Guinea knows every detail of their operations.
“The case under investigation. On 15th March, 2019 at about 2130hrs, one Alhaji Salisu Mani ‘M’ of Osato area Suleja reported at ‘A’ Division Suleja that on the same date at about 1830hrs, he discovered that his son, Musa Salisu aged 5yrs was missing and while searching for him at about 2300hrs, he received a phone call from an anonymous caller that they kidnapped his son for ransom and immediately switched off their phone. A team of Policemen from ‘A’ Division Suleja during a painstaking investigation unravel the identity of the perpetrators and arrested one Shamsu Salisu aged 23yrs ‘M’ of Osata Kwamba Suleja, one Zubairu Mohammed aged 25yrs ‘M’ of Ungwan Dawaki Suleja and rescued the son unhurt”.
He said the Suspects both confessed to having kidnapped the victim in order to demand a ransom of one Hundred thousand naira (N100, 000.00) before meeting their Waterloo.
“They were charged to court. On 22nd April 2019 at about 1400hrs, acting on an information on the activities of armed bandits around Kotorishi bush Kaffin-koro, Mobile Police personnel of 42PMF based at Ishau village in Paikoro LGA of Niger State rushed to the scene and engaged the bandits in a gun duel with the bandits which forced them to escape into the bush”.
Exhibits recovered include; (1) four empty AK47 magazines (2) one locally made pistol with 7 rounds of live ammunition (3) two army camouflage uniforms (4) one Teckno handset (5) one small solar panel (6) one black veil. On 23rd April, 2019 at about 1130hrs, acting on a tip-off, that two strange heavily built men were suspiciously sighted at a nearby bush closed to Adunu village via Kaffin-Koro of Paikoro LGA, operatives of Kaffin-Koro Division rushed to the area.
“Upon questioning the duo, they were taken into custody for failure to give satisfactory answers to questions put to them by the Police. The suspects were later identified as Isah Mohammed and Bitrus Eric both’ of Mutun-Daya, Shiroro LGA and Daza village of Munya LGA respectively. Further investigation revealed that they kidnapped one Maryam Abubakar Adamu ‘f’ of Chanchaga, Minna sometimes in October 2018.
“The said Isah Mohammed that led the gang to the victim house happens to be a nephew to the victim. The second suspects, Bitrus Eric confessed to having received two hundred thousand naira (N200, 000.00) as part of his share of the ransom. Suspects have been charged to court”.
He further noted that the police operatives foiled attempted kidnap in Shiroro and Lapai respectively. On 24th April, 2019 at about 2300hrs, one Shehu Daudu ‘m’ of Fulani camp Lawo village of Shiroro LGA that while he was sleeping, one Isah Umaru, Saminu surname unknown and two others all ‘m’ of no fixed address armed with gun and dangerous weapons invaded his house and attempted to kidnap him by firing sporadically in the air to scare people away in order to kidnap him but did not succeed as people from neighborhood came to his rescue.
“The said Isah Umaru was trailed, arrested and detained by the Police in Shiroro LGA while two others are still on Police radar. Exhibits recovered from the suspect include; (1) Berretta pistol with seven (7) rounds of live ammunition.
“Also, on 31st March 2019 at about 1630hrs, acting on information from a reliable source that one Ibrahim Bahago ‘m’ of Fulani camp Maguda village via Lapai LGA and five others were in a beer parlour discussing on how to kidnap one Abubakar Sule a member of Fulani vigilante group Kpada. Based on this, the Policemen stormed the area and arrested the said Ibrahim Bahago while others took to their heels. The suspect’s house was searched, one AK47 magazine with 60 rounds of live ammunition, one sleeve shirt, two pullover shirts, and one container of service oil was recovered as exhibits. The case still under investigation.
“The Police Command under the leadership of the Commissioner of Police, CP Ibrahim Sabo Umar psc(+) will continue to double his effort in its determination to nip in bud all violent crimes in the State and at the same time solicits for cooperation of Nigerlites in giving useful and timely information to the Police”.