By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
Troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have arrested one illegal arms supplier named Usman Ibrahim from Ryom in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State.
Major General John Enenche
Coordinator, Defence Media Operations
Defence Headquarters, disclosed this during a routine media briefing on the operations of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
The briefing covered the period 10 – 17 September 2020.
He said the suspect was arrested with 890 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition carefully concealed in his vehicle.
“Other items recovered from him include, 1 Jack knife, 1 Pistol Grip, a Nigerian Police ID card and the sum of Two Million Two Hundred and Thirty Naira (N2,230,000). Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a major illegal arms dealer supplying bandits in the North-West.”
In the South-South, he said troops continued to dominate the general area with clearance and aggressive patrols while maintaining surveillance to rid the area of pipeline vandals and other economic saboteurs.
FULL BRIEFING BY THE DMO
1. The Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies have continued their major operations across the country with attendant successes. The various operations have progressed satisfactorily in all the theatres. In this regard, I will be updating you on the operations in line with our weekly schedule. This briefing will cover from 10 – 17 September 2020.
2. In continuation of intensive clearance operations in the North-West zone of the country, troops of Operation HADARIN DAJI have continued to record serial successes against armed bandits. Within the period under review, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY acting on actionable intelligence arrested one illegal arms supplier named Usman Ibrahim from Ryom in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State. The suspect was arrested with 890 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition carefully concealed in his vehicle. Other items recovered from him include, 1 Jack knife, 1 Pistol Grip, a Nigerian Police ID card and the sum of Two Million Two Hundred and Thirty Naira (N2,230,000). Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a major illegal arms dealer supplying bandits in the North-West.
3. Furthermore, on 12 September 2020, troops conducting stop and search operation in Gusau, Zamfara State based on reliable intelligence arrested one male and one female suspects namely Kabiru Dauda and Hafsat Musa with 9 parcels containing substances suspected to be Cannabis and other illicit hard drugs. Preliminary investigation revealed that suspects are suppliers of hard drugs to bandits. Similarly, troops acting on credible intelligence arrested a wanted suspected bandit named Usman Gorjo at Ungwar Alhaji Danbuzu and a suspected bandit informant named Isah Bala at Daudawa village. Suspects were arrested in connection with the killing of the head of Daudawa vigilante group recently.
4. Relatedly, the Air Component of Operation HADARIN DAJI on 13 September 2020, decimated another armed bandits’ camp in the Doumborou forest area of Zamfara State. The air strike was conducted as part of a new subsidiary Operation, tagged Operation WUTAN DAJI 2. The successful operation resulted in the killing of several armed bandits belonging to the gang led by the so-called ‘Dangote’. Equally, on 15 September 2020, several armed bandits along with their logistics facilities were destroyed in massive air strikes conducted in the Kwiambana forest area of Zamfara State.
5. In another development, troops of Operation SALAMA (an internal security outfit in Jigawa State), raided the residence of a suspected armed bandit at Kabaka Village in Gwiwa Local Government Area of Jigawa State. During the raid, troops arrested his wife and 4 others while 2 AK 47 rifles, 5 magazines and 149 rounds of ammunition were recovered.
6. Deducing from these successes recorded within the period, it is clear that troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies are committed in their endeavor to end banditry and other sundry crimes in the country. The Military High Command commends the gallant troops for the successes achieved so far and their commitment to duty. While the good people of the North West are once again assured of Armed Forces of Nigeria’s commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone, they are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the operations.
7. In the North East Zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria working together with other security agencies have continued to sustain the onslaught against the insurgents. Within the period under review, troops recorded appreciable successes as several terrorists were neutralized, while some, including their family members were arrested with caches of arms and ammunition.
8. Troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE on 10 September 2020, in conjunction with Civilian JTF on fighting patrol engaged BHT/ISWAP elements at Kassa Kura in Maiduguri Town. In the course of the encounter, 2 terrorists were neutralized. In a related development on same day, troops successfully repelled 2 different terrorists’ attacks at Ngala and Baga Towns and recovered various categories of arms and ammunition while 2 BHT/ISWAP fighters were killed in contact. Meanwhile, at Ngurosoye Village of Bama Local Government Area and Dalori Gari in Maiduguri Town of Borno State, troops conducted ambush operations which led to the neutralization of 3 BHT/ISWAP elements and recovery of large cache of arms and ammunition. In the same vein, on 11 September 2020, troops on patrols at various locations in Borno State encountered ambushes and attacks by BHT/ISWAP fighters. In all, troops with superior firepower overwhelmed the terrorists and repelled them. The operations led to the neutralization of 5 terrorists as others fled with various degrees of gunshot wounds.
9. In another development, troops in conjunction with local vigilantes on 14 September 2020, conducted cordon and search operations at Gashua Local Government Area of Yobe State. The operation led to the neutralization of 4 BHT /ISWAP fighters while 7 of them were arrested. This is in addition to 3 others arrested on 13 September 2020 at the College of Agriculture in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State. It is also worthy to mention that the wife and son of one of BHT’s high profile member, Abdulrahman Abdullahi had been earlier arrested by troops in Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State on 7 September 2020.
10. Gleaning from the records of these operations, there is no gaining saying that the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security operatives are resolute in their determination to end the insurgency and achieve sustainable peace in the North East zone of the Country.
11. In the North Central zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have continued to sustain the tempo in the fight against criminality through the conduct of aggressive clearance patrols, ambushes and raids amongst others which have yielded remarkable results. During the period under review, these ongoing kinetic efforts were supported by Civil Military Cooperation (CIMIC) activities in the form of stakeholders’ meetings amongst the various ethnic groups in the zone.
12. Within the period, troops of operations WHIRL STROKE and SAFE HAVEN conducted several clearance operations to identified bandits camps. Notably, troops of Sector one of Operation WHIRL STROKE, in the early hours of 14 September 2020 raided an armed bandits’ camp at the forest boundary between Benue and Nasarawa States. The operation was conducted following credible intelligence on the presence of armed bandits harbouring in the general area. Troops engaged the criminals with superior fire power forcing several bandits to flee with various degrees of gunshot wounds.
13. Similarly, following actionable intelligence on the possible hideout of remnants of late Gana’s militia elements around Adu general area in Chanchanji council ward of Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State, troops of Operation WHIRL STROKE conducted a joint dawn raid operation on the identified hideout at Adu. In the course of the operation, troops neutralized 2 armed militias and recovered 2 locally made pistols. Thereafter, troops carried out another raid operation on another identified armed bandits’ hideout at Chanchanji in Takum Local Government Area of Taraba State and Sai in Katsina Ala Local Government Area of Benue State during which 3 suspects were arrested while 16 handsets, some charms and some substances suspected to be Indian hemp were also recovered. The suspects are currently undergoing preliminary investigation after which they will be handed over to the police for further action.
14. In a related development, troops of operation SAFE HAVEN, between 13 and 15 September 2020 raided hideouts of suspected criminals within Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State. A total of 25 suspects were apprehended while one locally fabricated pistol loaded with one round of 9mm ammunition was recovered during the course of the operation. Substances suspected to be Cannabis Sativa and other illicit drugs were also recovered by troops.
15. Furthermore, on 16 September 2020, troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN in conjunction with operatives of the Department of State Services, Plateau State Command, conducted a raid operation on hideouts of suspected gunrunners at Kurgwi and Kwande communities of Qu’an Pan Local Government Area of Plateau State. Troops apprehended a suspected gun runner one Mr Rayyanu Mohammed AKA “Star” with 2 single barrel guns, one fabricated rifle, one fabricated pistol, and 12 cartridges. It is noteworthy to mention that the suspect is a close associate of the notorious gunrunner Christopher Ngwu who was earlier arrested in Bakin Ciyawa village on 8 September 2020. Both suspects and items recovered have been handed over to the DSS team for further action.
16. Similarly, on 17 September 2020, troops of operation SAFE HAVEN conducted another raid operation on suspected drug peddlers and criminal hideouts within Barkin Ladi town of Plateau State. Troops apprehended a notorious drug peddler one Lawan Auwal with large amounts of substances suspected to be Cannabis Sativa, amongst other illicit drugs. The suspect and exhibits have been handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) for further action.
17. As part of Civil Military Cooperation activities within the period under review, Headquarters Operation SAFE HAVEN fostered several stakeholders meetings with community leaders in various parts of Plateau and Kaduna States. Areas covered include: Bokkos, Bassa, Jos, Barkin Ladi, and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State, as well as Zangon- Kataf and Jama’a Local Government Areas of Kaduna State. These efforts are expected to achieve the desired result with the provision of credible and actionable intelligence specifically from primary sources. In this regard, the locals are requested to cooperate with the security agencies by availing them with the required information which will be useful to our collective objective of taking out the criminals from the zone.
18. Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE have continued with the aggressive fight against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering in the zone with attendant successes. Within the period under review, the patrol team of Forward Operating Base BONNY acting on credible intelligence on 13 September 2020, immobilized an illegal refinery containing tanks filled with about 307,300 litres of illegally refined AGO at Orutoro fishing camp in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State. Relatedly, on same day, Nigerian Navy Ship DELTA patrol team dismantled a reactivated illegal refinery containing tanks filled with about 595,000 litres of illegally refined AGO at Banga Community in Delta State.
19. Also, within this period, Nigerian Navy Ship PATHFINDER patrol team located and immobilized an illegal refining site at Mudukiri Creek, Degema Local Government Area of Rivers State. The site had a metal reservoir laden with an estimated 150,000 litres of illegally refined AGO. In the same vein, Forward Operating Base BONNY patrol team discovered and dismantled an illegal refining site in Ataba, Andoni LGA of Rivers State. The team discovered 8 metal storage tanks and 4 dugout pits laden with about 1,289.45 barrels of product suspected to be stolen crude oil.
20. In the same vein, Nigerian Navy Ship JUBILEE clearance operation team acting on credible intelligence on a suspected pirates and sea robber’s camp at Otoyo, Akwa-Ibom State, raided the camp. The patrol team came under fire. However, the overwhelming fire power of own personnel led to the forceful withdrawal of the pirates leading to their dislodgement and deactivation of the camp. The team recovered one AK 47 rifle with 2 magazines, 2 Pump Action Rifles, 20 rounds of 7.62 and 39mm ammunition, one Fishing Gun, one Tecno phone, a bag of hard drugs, one diving face mask and one hand held metal detector.
21. In a related development, between 12 and 17 September 2020, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team while on routine patrol around Utan Inyata Creek arrested 2 suspects and 2 small-sized wooden boats laden with 165 bags of 50kg of foreign parboiled rice suspected to be smuggled from the Republic of Cameroon. The items and suspects are currently in custody of the Base and will be handed over to Nigeria Customs Service Component of Operation SWIFT RESPONSE for further action. Also, within the period under review, Forward Operating Base IBAKA patrol team arrested 5 suspects with 45 drums of products suspected to be Premium Motor Spirit (PMS). The suspects and items are currently in custody and will be handed over to NSCDC Uyo Command for further necessary action.
22. Gleaning from these, it is clear that, troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies working together remain committed to the fight against economic sabotage and other sundry crimes in the South-South zone of the country.
23. In the South West zone, Troops of Operation AWATSE have continued to intensify the fight against pipeline vandals, economic saboteurs and other criminal elements. Notably, on 11 September 2020, Nigerian Navy Ship BEECROFT handed over MT SEA SUPPLY and her crew to NIMASA after proper documentation in line with the existing Standard Operating Procedure. Recall, that the vessel and her crew members were arrested on 31 Jul 2020 for sailing without obtaining requisite documents.
24. Furthermore, on 12 September 2020, the patrol team of Forward Operating Base IGBOKODA immobilized 3 illegal refineries containing 30,000 litres of illegally refined AGO at Agbelemsema Zion 2, a border community between Ese Odo and Warri North Local Government Areas of Ondo and Delta States respectively. Troops have continued to dominate the general area with clearance and aggressive patrols while maintaining surveillance to rid the area of pipeline vandals and other economic saboteurs.
25 The Military High Command commends all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their commitment, determination and dedication. They are equally encouraged to remain firm and decisive in curtailing the activities of all criminal elements in the country.
Members of the general public are hereby assured that the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies will continue to tackle the security challenges and will ensure that normalcy is attained in all the geo-political zones of the Country. However their support is highly solicited in the area of providing credible information to assist our operations. Thank you.