…As police parade 145 suspects
From Molly Kilete, Abuja; Sola Ojo, Kaduna; Rose Ejembi, Makurdi and Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Scores of suspected criminals were paraded yesterday at various police commands in the country. Eleven suspected kidnappers, who had been terrorizing motorists and other road users along the Birni Gwari/ Funtua/Abuja/Kaduna highways have been arrested by men of the Operations Absolute Sanity.
The 11- man gang headed by 40-year-old Hassan was found to be in possession of three AK 47 rifles, 72 rounds of AK 47 ammunition, three locally made guns, three cutlasses, charms and sticks, among other dangerous weapons.
Parading the suspects before newsmen at the Jere Divisional Police Headquarters along the Abuja/Kaduna Express Road, Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said the police also rescued four victims from the kidnappers. The victims are made up of three men and one woman.
Kaduna State Police Command paraded 34 suspects allegedly involved in robbery, cattle-rustling, culpable homicide, impersonation and kidnapping. Parading the suspects before journalists at the headquarters of the command in Kaduna, Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh, said most of the suspects were caught in the act while others were tracked through mobile phones they stole from their victims.
According to him, the suspects, whom he said were arrested within the past one week at various spot across the state, were among those that have been terrorising motorists along Kaduna-Abuja highway and Birni Gwari axis of the state.
Parading the suspects, the Kaduna police boss said: “We have recorded successes in the areas of armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, cattle rustling and recovery. We arrested eight robbery suspects, 12 involved in culpable homicide, nine suspects who were in possession of illegal firearms, three dismissed soldiers and one rustler suspect among others. We also recovered two AK 47, one locally made pistol and one shot gun.
“It may interest you to know that we have arrested the robbery suspect that robbed and murdered one Alhaji Usman at his residence in Ungwan Rimi two weeks ago. Unfortunately for him, we were able to track him through the mobile phone he stole from the wife of his 84-year-old victim and you can hear from him.”
Confessing to the allegations leveled against him, the 40-year-old suspect, Moses said he never knew that his victim was dead after collecting N80,000 and mobile phone from his wife during the robbery operation.
Moses said: “I specialise in shop burgling. I don’t kill people. I only got to know yesterday that the man I robbed two weeks ago died as a result of injury he sustained from the iron bar I hit him in the head. Hash economic condition pushed me into this mess.
“That night, I jumped through the fence of the first and second houses and left in anger when I did not get what I wanted. I then jumped into the third house where I found the man and his wife sleeping. I hit him on the head to scare him while his wife was pleading with me. The woman later gave me N80,000 and her mobile phone and it was at that point that I stopped beating her. I later sold the phone N10,000.
“The police then tracked the phone and the person that I sold it to later contacted me because he had not paid the N10,000 and that was how the police arrested me. Initially, I denied that I neither know the buyer nor sold anything to him. But after he begged me to speak the truth, I had to give in to save the innocent man for the sake of his wife and children. I did not mean to kill and I’m regretting my attitude. If I can have another opportunity to regain my freedom, I will never do such a thing again in my life.”
Similarly, the Benue State Police Command has paraded over 30 suspected criminals, who were arrested for various crimes ranging from kidnapping, rape, cultism and robbery across the state. Among the paraded suspects were Timbee and Doris, who were intercepted with a two years old baby boy earlier reported missing at a police station by his father.
According to the Police Commissioner in charge of Benue State, Bashir Makama, the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) while on surveillance at Ukum and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas of the state, arrested one Shulan and Kumaga of Abako town.
Makama said upon search, one G3 rifle with six rounds of live ammunition as well as one English made revolver pistol were recovered from the suspects, who are already giving the police useful information about their modus operandi and other members of their gang.
The police commissioner stated further that within the same period, three persons, Oche and ex-Cpl Alfred John alias Bamaiyi, both of Edikwu road, Otukpo and Okoro were arrested with 25 rounds of 9mm new live ammunition and criminal charms.
He disclosed that the suspects, who had been associated with the recent killing of a retired Army General, Lawrence Ugboh and a retired police ASP were also fingered in several cult related killings, kidnapping and mischief by fire.
The commissioner said Terfa, Ways, Iorkye, Vue and Simon, all from Vandeikya town, after robbing a family, raped their 21-year -old daughter in the presence of her parents and thereafter inflicted deep machete cuts on the father, mother and daughter.
Also paraded were nine teenage boys and girls suspected to be cultists at Aune-Adoka in Otukpo Local Government Area of the state.
When our correspondent spoke with the suspects, most of them confessed to the various crimes and blamed the devil for their involvement in criminality.
Also, Ogun State Police Command, yesterday, paraded 70 suspected criminals whose alleged crimes ranged from robbery, kidnapping, cultism, impersonation and ritual killing. The Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Iliyasu, while parading the criminals before journalists at the Elewaran, Abeokuta headquarters of the command, disclosed that the command, through its ‘Operation Criminal Mop Up’, rounded up the suspects at different locations across the state.
According to him, the police decided to embark on the operation to rid the state of criminals to make the Ember months safe for the citizens of the Ogun.