*Arrests more in Lagos, Kogi, Taraba
…Jude Johnson and Paschal Okeke
The Department of Security Services (DSS) has nabbed two fleeing Boko Haram terrorists hibernating in border town to Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria. The service also arrested several other key terrorist suspects in Kogi, Lagos and Taraba states located in the North Central, South West and North East regions of the country.
The DSS disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr. Tony Opuiyo, on Tuesday, wherw he gave details of the Service’s progress in January towards fighting terrorism and kidnapping across the country.
Opuiyo noted that their successes were recorded as a result of proactive and credible intelligence offered by patriotic citizens, and the effective cooperation of sister agencies and other relevant stakeholders.
“This Service wishes to restate its determination to sustain the tempo within the provisions of the law as part of its drive towards ensuring the security of lives and property of all law-abiding residents and citizens in the country, “he said.
Opuiyo stated that the two suspected terrorists, Ibrahim Mala and Abdallah Modu were arrested on January 6, 2017 at Amba and Gudi villages of Kokona LGA of Nasarawa State, a border town Abuja, Nigeria’s capital. He said that the suspects who are indigenes of Maiduguri, Borno State, had fled the military action in Borno State and were regrouping in the State under different trade covers.
“While Modu sells children’s wears, Mala, who trades in perfumes, confessed to his membership of the sect and disclosed that he (Mala) joined the Yusufiyya faction in 2007, ” he said.
Similarly, he stated that one Abdulkarim Dahiru, a key terrorist commander and an indigene of Okengwa, Okene LGA of Kogi State, was arrested at the Specialist Hospital, Lokoja. He said the suspect was identified as the main coordinator of several kidnappings as well as other robbery activities in Kogi and Edo States.
Part of the statement read: “The Service in its determined counter-terrorism efforts to consolidate on the gains it has made in the sustenance of offensive against identified criminal gangs, kidnap syndicates and terrorist elements across the country, has recorded major successes which have further degraded the capability of these elements to operate in the county.
“On 1st January, 2017, at Mutum Biyu in Gassol LGA, Taraba State, Bale Kolomi Grema and Kolomi Adba-Aji were arrested in a mosque after they had fled Marte, Borno State, where they were involved in boko haram terrorist activities. Also on the same 1st January, 2017, a kidnap suspect, Amadu Bello, was apprehended at Hotoron Arewa, Nasarawa LGA of Kano State for his involvement in a kidnap operation at Zomo village, Ningi LGA of Bauchi State from which he got a share of N3m from the ransom.
“In a related development, on 6th January, 2017, one Paul Ali (aka Simplee), a high profile leader of a kidnap syndicate was arrested at Hill Flower Hotel, Asaga Ohafia, Abia State. Ali, who operates camps at Ikot Abasi and Mbo LGAs of Akwa Ibom State, is responsible for notable kidnap incidents across the Niger Delta. He is also a member of the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) which has carried out attacks against oil installations in the area. At the time of his arrest, Ali, with his associate, Chidiebere Kanu was planning the kidnap of a Federal Lawmaker and an expatriate. Kanu is presently at large.”
Opuiyo further stated that security operations conducted by the Nigerian Secret Police from January 3-7, 2017, across some flashpoints in Lagos State led to the arrest of seven kidnap suspects, six of whom, namely; Gilbert Koku Nelson, John Nelson, Adekoya Kazeem, Muhammad Lawal , Abu Yahro and Kelvin Nwanaji were arrested in connection with the kidnap of a management staff of Dangote Company.
According to him, the two other suspects, Abdullahi Bello, a Custom Officer and Bello Gumel, were apprehended at Navy Town, Ojo LGA, and Naval Base, Alakija, respectively, in connection with the kidnap of another Custom Officer, on December 20, 2016. He said that members of the gang specialized in spying on senior company executives and laying ambush for kidnap and robbery operations for huge ransoms.
He further stated that on January 7, 2017, one Muhammad Auwal was arrested at Andaza village, Kiyawa LGA of Bauchi State in conncetion with boko haram terrorist activities. Opiuyo said that Auwal who was arrested with the sum of three hundred thousand Naira (N300,000.00) on him, is believed to be a drug supplier to the boko haram sect in Sambisa Forest.
He also stated that the Service on same day arrested the trio of Elijah Awua, Joseph Ejaka and Hope Nathan, at Kanshio, Otukpo road, Makurdi, Benue State. The suspects are members of a notorious kidnap syndicate that has been responsible for several kidnap operations in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau States. He said “their most recent venture was the gang’s abduction of a staff of Radio Benue, Makurdi on 2nd December, 2016. Suspects were arrested with a silver coloured Toyota RAV4 vehicle marked ABJ AQ 720 KUJ. Two other members of the syndicate identified as Gabriel Joshua and Timothu (FNU) are currently on the run and being trailed”.
The statement continued: “On 8th January, 2017, one Bello Mohammed (aka Awilo), the leader of a syndicate that specialized in car theft and burglary in Gombe State was arrested at Jekadafari area of Gombe metropolis of the State. Mohammed confessed to being the kingpin of the syndicate in the State. His confession led to the arrest of an associate, Abdullahi Ibrahim (alias Dibal) who is seen at the arrowhead of the gang in the North East. Ibrahim also disclosed that he has stolen 10 cars in Gombe. Based on his confession two buyers of the stolen cars identified as Surajo Ali Gombe, and Danjuma Baka, have been arrested.
“The Service also arrested four suspected fleeing members of the boko haram; Fanayi Bukar Hassan, Butame Hassan, Kologoni Bukar, and Amina Abubakar on 10th January, 2017 at Oko-Oba, Ifako-Ijaiye LGA of Lagos State. They are suspected to have fled to the State to evade arrest in the ongoing military offensive in the North East. Same day (10th January, 2017), at Okene town, Adavi LGA, Kogi State, the leader of the boko haram sect in Okene, Abdullahi Mohammed aka Huja, was arrested. Subject had been responsible for the coordination of boko haram activities in Okene axis of Kogi State”.