Police arrest 50, recover firearms, 2,496 AK-47 ammunition

*Burst notorious criminal gangs across the country

*As bandits kidnap Catholic priest, Redeemed, Polaris bank staff

By Hassan Zaggi and Myke Uzendu, with Agency Reports

Efforts by the police to contain activities of criminal gangs have resulted in the arrest of 50 suspects said to be members of various notorious criminal gangs and networks across the country.

This was as armed gang during separate operations at Delta and Oyo states, kidnapped clergymen of the Catholic Church and Redeemed Christian Church of God denominations.

The arrests, according to the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), CP Frank Mba, were effected by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team and the Special Tactical Squad of the Force attached to the Operation Puff Adder II.

Mba said it was the outcomes of successful follow-up on cases bordering on kidnapping, armed robbery, banditry, unlawful possession of firearms, amongst others.

Mba said that “a total of 10 sophisticated prohibited firearms, two thousand, four hundred and ninety-six (2,496) AK-47 live ammunition, 10 live cartridges, Cartons of Tramadol worth over N3 million, bags of weed suspected to be Indian hemp, two laptop computers, and eight mobile phones, were recovered from the suspects in the operations”.

Explained how the men of the underworld got into the police net, the FPRO said that “operatives of the Special Tactical Squad attached to the Operation Puff Adder II while on confidence building patrol along Kachia–Kaduna Highway on 28th February, 2021, intercepted one Danjuma Dachung, a 30yr-old native of Ryom, Plateau State and one other, Markus Danladi, in Kachia, Kaduna State conveying 1,565 AK-47 ammunition in a Volkswagen, Golf-3 Car.

“Investigations by the Police team revealed that the suspects are members of a major ammunition supply syndicate that supplies ammunition from Jos to bandits in their various camps/hideouts in forests in Kaduna State.

“Further investigations led to the arrest of one Suleiman Tukur, 55yr-old and his son, Shuaibu Suleiman, 18yrs on 9th March, 2021 who are relatives of a notorious gang leader who was to receive the ammunition conveyed by Danjuma Dachung and Markus Danladi”.

He added that 231 AK-47 live ammunition were recovered by the police team at their residence in Karabi, Kaduna State.

Also, the police arrested two suspects, Daniel Baba, 28yrs and one Andrew Gbagi, 30yrs, both from Kwali Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory.

“The suspects were arrested at the point of brokering a gun sales deal in the Kwali area of the FCT.

“Investigations revealed that the suspects specialize in selling all calibre of firearms to armed robbers and kidnappers in the FCT and its environs.

“They also carryout armed robbery operations in Paiko, Dobbi, Kwali, Gwagwalada and Abaji communities in the FCT,” adding that investigation is ongoing to locate their armoury, sponsors and other members of the gang now at large.

The third case was the aftermath of the kidnap of Alhaji Ibrahimaa, a Pharmacist residing in Barikin Ladi, Plateau State and his subsequent release after paying a ransom.

The police spokesman said that “operatives of the FIB-IRT succeeded in arresting four suspects including the mastermind of the kidnap operation.

“The suspects arrested are Abbas Adamu, 23yrs of Barikin Ladi, Plateau State, Ahmad Mohammed A.K.A Soja, 22yrs native of Magama Gumau, Ibrahim Jilde, 36yrs native of Toro LGA Bauchi and Saleh Idris, 20yrs, native of Magama Gumau in Bauchi.

“Investigations by the Police team revealed that the suspects were responsible for the kidnap of one DSS operative in Jos and a Professor in Mista Ali Village and several other armed robberies and kidnapping in Plateau, Bauchi and Nasarawa States.

*Gunmen abduct Catholic priest

In another development, gunmen abducted a Catholic priest identified as Harrison Prhinyovaw, in Delta state.

The priest was said to have been abducted at about 8:00 p.m. on Monday at a bad spot in Abraka, Ethiope East Local Government Area of the state.

He is the Parish Priest of St. John’s Catholic Church, Obinomba in Ukwuani Local Government Area of Delta State, and was moving from Warri to his station, Obinomba, when the incident occured.

According to a resident in the community, the cleric, with his Highlander SUV, was meandering through the bad spot in Oria-Abraka when he was kidnapped.

“The kidnappers shot sporadically in the air to scare away passers-by at the scene of the operation. They abandoned the cleric’s car at the scene of the incident,” the witness said.

Also, a member of the local vigilante who spoke with journalists, said he and his colleagues heard the terrifying gun shots fired by the kidnappers.

He said the vigilante was not armed enough to go after the kidnappers.

When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Edafe Bright, confirmed the incident.

He said a team of police officers was already trailing the suspects.

*Gunmen abduct Redeemed Church, Polaris Bank staff

Similarly, unknown gunmen have reportedly abducted staff of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Polaris Bank at a quarry site in Ibadan, on Monday, the police have said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the gunmen invaded the quarry site along Ijebu-Ode/ Ibadan road and took away Popoola Isaac and Ismail Adeoye, staff of the church and bank respectively.

The police Public Relations Officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi, confirmed the abduction in a text message to NAN on Tuesday.

Mr Fadeyi said that efforts were being intensified to secure the release of the victims and arrest the abductors.

NAN reports that the incident occurred at Dalli Village (Binu Quarry) along Ibadan-Ijebu-Ode Road.

The case was reported at the Idi Ayunre Police Station in Ibadan.

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