…As Police arrest 50 suspects, opens negotiation with abductors of 6 Kaduna school girls***
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday stormed the Zamfara office of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and took away four ‘Ghana-must-go’ bags suspected to contain money.
The operatives were at the INEC office in Gusau in continuation of its investigation over alleged nonpayment of ad hoc staff who conducted the 2019 general election.
Eye witnesses indicated that the EFCC operatives arrived the office around noon with heavily armed personnel and ransacked the facility for close to two hours, before carting away the four bags and some documents allegedly recovered from the office of the accountant.
Some INEC officials who were earlier arrested by the EFCC were brought along during the two-hour search and were afterwards taken back into custody.
A petition to the EFCC by Abdullahi Nasiru, one of the ad hoc staff, had alleged that they were shortchanged by INEC to the tune of over N80 million in the allowances paid to them after the general election when compared to what was paid ad hoc staff in other states.
The EFCC operatives and INEC officials refused to respond to questions from newsmen after the search.
In the meantime, the Kaduna State Police Command said on Wednesday that it has commenced negotiation with abductors of the six female students, a teacher and a matron, abducted from the Engravers College on Thursday night, (October 3).
The command also said it had arrested 50 suspects allegedly involved in various criminal activities across the state and recovered 27 guns.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Ali Janga said at a news conference in Kaduna that the police opted to talk to the kidnappers so as not to put the lives of the girls at risk.
“We are negotiating with the kidnappers to rescue these students and their teachers, we know the location of the kidnappers but we do not want to endanger their lives.
“Most of these kidnappers are operating under the influence of hard drugs, so killing is nothing to them, this is why we are still negotiating with them and as soon as the victims are released, we will go after them.
“We are assuring the people of Kaduna state that we will arrest these kidnappers very soon.
“Mistake has been made by the school authority, but we will do our best to ensure the release of these victims,” the police commissioner said.
Janga disclosed that among the 50 suspects arrested were those who abducted a prominent Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Algarkawi and a member of the state assembly, Suleiman Dabo.
“It may interest you to note that, most of the suspects confessed to being responsible for terrorizing our highways, and kidnapping of Sheik Ahmad Algarkawi, killing of three Operatives of IGP’S Intelligent Response Team (IRT) in 2018 and recent kidnapping of ABU students and Hon. Suleiman Dabo.”
According to him, the arrest of the suspects was the result of a carefully planned and coordinated operation carried out by the command.
The suspects are being held for kidnapping, armed banditry, cattle rustling, rape, culpable homicide, theft and receiving stolen properties.
Among exhibits recovered were 20 AK47 rifles, one assault rifle, three Beretta pistols, three locally made pistols, 135 live ammunition, four vehicles, one Tricycle.