Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Abuja on Wednesday paraded forty-seven kidnappers, armed robbers, murderers, and illegal arms dealers, among other criminal suspects terrorizing the peace of the country.
Among the suspects paraded was a 30-year-old kidnap kingpin, Mohammed Sani, 30, who confessed to have killed over 50 of his victims for failing to pay the ransom for their release.
Sani, who operated mostly in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Zamfara States, wearing a fake military uniform, confessed to being the accomplice of one “Yellow Jambros” who supplies him with guns and other weapons.
Parading the suspects before newsmen, police spokesman Frank Mba said Sani was a sector commander of a major kidnap gang with over over 120 men under his command.
The suspect, who said he has lost count of how many kidnap operations he has carried out, said he killed victims who could not pay ransoms, allowing those whose relatives pay to go home, due to not having a place to keep them for too long.
Mba said the suspect who has been on the wanted list of the police was arrested by men of the Special Tactical Squad (STS).
‘His area of speciality is kidnapping for ransom and banditry. Occasionally he veers into cattle rustling. He belongs to an organised kidnapping gang that has gone ahead to sectorize their operations. Mohammed Sani is a sector commander within the larger kidnapping and banditry enterprise. He has over 100 men directly under his command. Sani reports to another big kidnapper that is on our wanted list known as “Yellow Jambros”,’ Mba said.
Also paraded were seven suspects linked to the attack on a bullion van in Abakiliki in Ebonyi State on July 29.
Mba said two of the suspects were dismissed soldiers. He said they carried out the attack after a thorough surveillance of the movement of the bullion van for over two weeks.
Mba, who said four policemen were killed and their rifles were taken away during the attack, however, pointed out that the reinforcement and courage shown by both the driver of the bullion van and other operatives prevented the robbers from stealing the money.
The police spokesman said the robbers were arrested by operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT) following painstaking investigation that crisscrossed several states of the federation.
He gave the name of the gang leader as Sunday Seyemi from Bayelsa State and listed weapons recovered from them to include one GPMG rifle with 136 rounds of GPMG ammunition, six AK-47 rifles, 61 AK-47 magazines, five K2 magazines, 1, 620 rounds of live AK-47 ammunition, two sets of army camouflage and assorted charms and other house breaking implements. He said two suspects were still at large.
Also paraded was one Paul Okorie, 52, for illegally producing and selling military uniforms. He was found to be in possession of 583 pieces of military uniforms alongside tow of his accomplices at the time of his arrest.
Clothing were recovered from them.and two others (one male, one female) who were arrested.
Mba said acting on very credible intelligence, operatives from the STS stormed some of the warehouses and business premises where the uniforms were being produced.
In an interview, Okorie who a said started dealing on men’s wears, said he shifted to dealing on military wears because of demand. He however said he sold the uniforms to military personnel only on presentation of military identity cards, even though he was not authorised to deal and sell uniform.
Also paraded was one John Nneoma, 58, arrested for being in possession of 864, live cartridges which he was transporting from the south-east to Taraba State. The suspect, who has been in the illegal business for some time now, said he usually get paid in cash or bush-meat, which he ends up selling back in the South East.
He said he usually conceals the cartridges in secondhand clothes, which he also sells.
Also paraded were Musa Adamu, 23, and Ibrahim Sailisu, 35, for unlawful possession of ammunition.
Mba said 801 rounds of live AK47 ammunition and 819 rounds of live anti-aircraft ammunition.
He said intelligence linked two suspects, who were arrested along Kaduna-Jos Road, to “Yellow Jambros”.
He said 47 suspects were arrested for various offenses including armed robbery, murder, kidnapping, and unlawful possession of firearms among others.
Weapons recovered include 321 rounds of AK47 ammunition, nine pistols, 10 AK47 rifles, 864 rounds of live cartridges, 583 pieces of military camouflage, one GPMG rifle and N258, 570 cash.