…As Bandits sack 17 villages in Kaduna State***
The Police on Monday paraded 81 suspects described as deadly kidnappers, and armed robbers alongside the sum of N10.1 million ransoms, said to have been recovered from a kidnap gang in Sokoto state. The suspects were said to be involved in crimes which included murder, kidnapping, unlawful possession of weapons and internet fraud across the country.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba who disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja on Monday, said the amount was part of the ransom paid by one of their victims, Alhaji Tuku Zubairu, a wealthy business man in Sokoto State.
He said the gang was formed in Katsina Prison, adding that members were prisoners who had been prosecuted by the police.
Mba said they were either serving jail terms or rounding up their sentences while others were in the prison awaiting trials.
“Somehow, they were able to get themselves together while in the prison, formed a deadly gang and while in the prison they hatched the plot to kidnap one Alhaji Tuku Zubairu.
“As soon as they were out from the prison, they embarked on that mission, kidnapped the business man and collected ransom running into several millions from him.
“We went after them and as I speak to you today, all the gang members have been arrested and a total sum of N10.1 million, part of the ransom they collected has been recovered,” he said.
He said the police had also arrested another deadly kidnap gang known as the Shaibu DanKaduna, responsible for terrible crimes along Kaduna axis and some parts of the North Central zone of the country.
According to him, on Aug. 11 this gang ambushed a team of police operatives that were on a mission and killed four of the operatives.
“Ever since then, we have not relented on our efforts and as I speak to you, majority of members of that gang have been arrested.
“The riffles of the operatives that were snatched after killing them have all been recovered.
“The leader of that gang, Shaibu Dan Kaduna has been killed, he died during an exchange of bullet with police operatives on Oct. 3,” he said.
He said members of another kidnap gang responsible for the killing of Insp. Patrick Yohanna on Aug. 26 along Abuja-Kaduna road had also been arrested.
Mba said the entire gang members had been arrested, adding that another group, numbering 21 were also arrested in Taraba.
He said 10 internet fraudsters including a Secondary School Ghanaian were arrested in Abuja by police operatives.
“A look at them showed clearly that they are all young persons and out of the 10, one is a Ghanaian who told us that he is a secondary school student in Accra Academy.
“Some of the suspects are graduates and as a matter of fact, one of them who we recognise as the leader of the group is a graduate of Microbiology and a holder of Masters in Business Administration,” he added.
He said 8 AK 47 riffle, 344 rounds of AK 47 riffles and 15 other types of weapons of assorted make, largely locally fabricated were recovered.
Mba said 10 laptops recovered from the Internet fraud suspects would subjected to proper forensic examination before charging the suspects to court.
Meanwhile, bandits have sacked 17 villages in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, following attacks which occurred on Sunday at about 1:00pm, displacing persons, numbering about 2000, who have since taken refuge at LEA Birnin Yero Primary School.
One of the victims and village head of Unguwan Gibe, Jibrin Abdullahi explained that, “bandits came to our village to attack us at about 1:00 pm on Sunday.
“The problems started when vigilante decided to help the community to deal with the bandits in their hideout.
“The bandits don’t allow us to go to farm, the vigilantes wanted to bring an end to this, but when they reached the bandits hideout they were overpowered and the bandits said since the community have decided to attack them we will not have peace.”
He identified the villages that were displaced to include, Tura, Unguwan Gebi, Unguwan Dangauta, Unguwan Nayawu, Unguwan Makeri, Jagani, Sabon Gida, Dallatu, Unguwan Alhaji Ahmadu, Sabon Gari, Kusau, Gidan Sarkin Noma, Unguwan Pati, Unguwan Tofa and Sauran Giwa.
“I have three wives but only two are with me I don’t know where the other wife is now, as you can see, about 2000 people are displaced.”
The village head disclosed that due to the activities of the bandits they no longer go to farm.
“I spent over N2 million on my farm, now for the past 25 days I can’t go to farm due to bandits activities.”
Also, the Chief Imam of Izala Mosque, Ibrahim Usman, said the bandits had been terrorising the community even before Sunday’s attack and called on government to do the needful, to enable them return home.
The refugees attempt to stage a demonstration by blocking the Kaduna-Zaria highway was thwarted by security agents.
The Imam pleaded with the victims to be law abiding and not to take laws into their hands.
Also, the village head of Birnin Yero, Alhaji Umar Danyaro, where the victims are camped, described the situation as very unfortunate.
Danyaro said: “the bandits had been disturbing the people in their villages; on daily basis they kidnap at will, kill, take away their goods and animals.”
The District head of Rigachikun, Alhaji Abdulrasheed Sani, pleaded with the victims not to take law into their hands and be patient, promising them that the situation would be addressed by the government.
The officials of the State Emergency Management Agency were at the camp for on the spot assessment.