By Hassan Zaggi
Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested 84 notorious criminal suspects with 9,899– live ammunition of different calibres and 80-fake vehicle number plates, within the past 30 days.
The Force Spokesman, Frank Mba, disclosed this at a media briefing in Abuja, yesterday.
He further revealed that 45 sophisticated firearms and ammunition including 1-GPMG, 1-LAR rifle, 17-AK47 rifles, 2-Pump Action rifles, 20– locally fabricated firearms, 3-single barrel guns, 1– Toyota Camry with Reg. No. AA 792 HJA and 1-Toyota Corolla LE with Reg. No. QAP 622 AA, were also recovered from the suspects.
The suspects, according to CP Mba, were arrested for their involvement in series of violent crimes including terrorism, banditry, kidnap for ransom, possession and proliferation of illegal weapons, armed robbery, unlawful production of vehicle number plates etc.
While many of the suspects were arrested in follow-up on cases of violent crimes under investigations, many others were arrested after being subdued following gun duel with the police who took the battle to the doorsteps of the criminals.
Among those arrested, Mba said, 4-member gang of a notorious criminal gang responsible for carrying out some of the high-profile kidnap for ransom operations in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Kaduna, Niger, Katsina, Bauchi, and Plateau States.
The suspects include Umar Abdullahi ‘m’ 40yrs of kali Kura village, Giwa LGA, Kaduna State, Yusuf Tanimu ‘m’ 23yrs of Kurena, Zaria, Kaduna State, Mamuda Suleiman ‘m’ 40yrs of Barkin ladi, Plateau State and Abubakar Yaro ‘m’ 38yrs from Wase village, Plateau State.
Investigations revealed that the gang are linked to series of kidnap for ransom crimes including the kidnapping of some senior staff of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, family members of notable political appointees and business entrepreneurs in Kaduna State and other contiguous State.
The suspects, the Force Spokesman, said, were at an advanced stage to kidnap a Catholic Bishop in Zaria, when they were apprehended.
“Investigations further revealed that the gang, in addition to their kidnapping enterprise, also supply arms and ammunition to Bandits at Birnin Gwarri, kaduna State, Niger, Katsina and Zamfara States,” Mba said.