… Foil bandits attack, rescue 15 victims, arrest 3 in Niger community***
The Police Command in Plateau says it has arrested two suspects over the alleged trafficking of firearms from Plateau to the eastern part of the country through Nasarawa State.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said this during a news briefing on Friday, in Abuja.
Adejobi said the suspects were arrested, following credible intelligence gathered by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) on the trafficking of Plateau, through Nasarawa to the East.
According to him, upon receipt of the intelligence, operatives of the IRT swung into action that led to the apprehension of the suspects in April.
He said the suspects were apprehended with two AK47 riffles and 51 rounds of live ammunition, concealed in a bag of beans.
Adejobi said the firearms, concealed in a bag of beans to beat security checkpoints were meant for onward delivery to Nasarawa, where the receiver was waiting to deliver to the East.
The Police spokesman said the investigation had revealed that the suspects were to transport the firearms to Anambra for some criminal elements in the area.
He added that the police had also arrested six suspects in Niger over criminal conspiracy, armed robbery, kidnapping, unlawful possession of prohibited firearms and hijacking of the truck, lifting petroleum products.
He said the suspects were arrested by operatives of the IRT following a tip-off that one DAF Truck conveying 45,000 litres of PMS was hijacked at Saminaka in Niger at gunpoint by six gunmen.
Adejobi said sometime in March 2020 the IRT operatives received a tip-off that one DAF Truck conveying 45,000 litres of PMS belonging to a company was hijacked at Saminaka in Niger at gunpoint by six gunmen.
He said the driver of the truck and his conductor were kidnapped by the assailants in the incident that happened in March.
According to him, following the receipt of the information, IRT operatives swung into action and intercepted the hoodlums at Lambata Area of Niger.
He said investigations revealed that the suspects had discharged the products at an unknown location, adding that the empty truck was recovered with six suspects arrested.
Adejobi said the suspects had confessed to the crime during the investigation and led police operatives to the location where the product was discharged.
He said the product was also recovered with the aid of the Petroleum Tankers Drivers Association, Suleja Depot.
The police spokesman said the further investigation also revealed that the suspects were among a 10-man gang that carried out an attack on a vigilante group in Lambata where two pump action riffles were carted way.
He said efforts were being intensified by the police to arrest other fleeing members of the gang, to showcase the achievements of operatives of the Nigeria Police Force.
Adejobi said the suspects were among the 19 suspects arrested over offences of kidnapping, armed robbery, culpable homicide, rape, unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, gunrunning, car theft and impersonation.
He said a total of 52 firearms, consisting of one rocket-propelled grenade launcher, one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and 36 AK47 riffles.
The police spokesman said the others are two English short guns, five locally made short guns, five locally made automatic pistols and four pump action guns.
Adejobi said five tear gas canisters and a total of 2,045 live ammunition of different caliber were also recovered from the suspects.
In the same vein, police in Niger State said they foiled bandits’ attack on Maraban Dan-Daudu village in Shiroro Local Government Area of the state, rescued 15 victims and arrested three suspected bandits.
DSP Wasiu Abiodun, the spokesman of the command, said this in a statement on Friday in Minna.
He said though 15 abducted victims were rescued, scores of bandits escaped into the forest with gun injuries.
Abiodun said the incident occurred on May 12 at about 9.30 a.m. when armed bandits attempted to invade Maraban Dan-Daudu and Jiko villages via Gwada, Shiroro Local Government Area.
“Joint security team deployed to the area, with vigilante members, responded and engaged the bandits in gun duel which lasted for several hours following a distress call on the attack,” he said.
Abiodun also said that on May 11, at about 1: 30 p.m., information was received that suspected armed bandits were sighted at Agigi/Kpashimi forest via Lapai Local Government Area.
“Police tactical team attached to Lapai Division with vigilante members were mobilized to the area and engaged the bandits in a gun duel and the team overpowered them.
“Some of the hoodlums escaped into the forest with bullet injuries,” he said.
The spokesman named the suspects arrested to include: Aliyu Mohammed Dauda, and Wada Usman Shehu both of Maikunkele, Bosso Local Government Area and Mohammed Shehu Abubakar of Maiyaki village, Lapai Local Government Area.
He said two burnt motorcycles were recovered from their camp, noting that the case was under investigation as an effort was ongoing to apprehend other fleeing members of the gang.
He said that the suspects would be arraigned in court after investigation and urged the public to report anyone with a gun injury to the nearest police station.