Molly Kilete, Abuja
The force police headquarters in Abuja said it has arrested a 28-year-old female armourer, Fatima Garba, working for a notorious gang of kidnappers and armed robbers.
Garba, who has been working for the criminal group for over one year now, is said to be responsible for the safety of the weapons used by the gang whenever not in use. She is also said to be well paid each time the weapons were returned to her after each operation.
Force public relations officer Frank Mba, who made this known in Abuja, also said the police arrested a two-man robbery gang who specializes in stealing vehicles parked at the parking lot of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).
The suspects Bashir Isiaku, 34, and Aminu Yakubu, who usually operate with a customized master key, crafted out of screwdriver with which they use to open and start vehicles were arrested by operatives of the Nigeria Police Special Tactical Squad (STS), while 21, vehicles recovered from them.
Mba, in a statement, said: “The Nigeria Police Special Tactical Squad (STS) has smashed a two-man car-stealing gang led by one Bashir Isiaku, aged 34, notorious for stealing cars from the car park of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH). The arrest of Bashir, a graduate of one of the Federal Polytechnics, came after painstaking efforts and investigations by operatives of the STS to hunt down the criminals. Bashir and his accomplice, Aminu Yakubu, specialised in using customised master key, crafted out of screwdriver to open and start vehicles.
“Police investigations show that their choices of cars are ones without special security features such as pedal or steering locks. A total of twenty-one (21) vehicles have so far been recovered from the hoodlums and their criminal receivers.
“The following criminal receivers have also been arrested: in Funtua – Rilwanu Garba, Ibrahim Hassan, Kabiru Aliyu, Sikiru Danjuma, Bashir Abba; in Sokoto – Dodo Danbello, Mudeen Adelera, Nasiru Bello, Hassan Bawa; in Kucheri – Magazine Garba; in Tsafe – Yushehu Abdullahi; in Gusau – Abdurazaq Adekoya; and in Marafa – Kabiru Aliyu.
“The recovered vehicles comprise 2 Opel Vectra, 1 Toyota Camry, 1 Honda CRV, 2 Toyota Carina, 7 Golf-3, 1 Toyota Corolla, 6 Honda Civic and 1 Toyota Avensis. The suspects claimed that they found it easy to steal in JUTH due to the lax security at JUTH premises. Police investigations reveal that their choice cars are Toyota, Honda and Volkswagen products especially the Golf brand because these brand of cars are in high demand by criminal receivers, either in whole or in parts across the country and other neighbouring countries.
“In the light of the above, members of the public whose cars were stolen between January 2019 and March 2020, within the premises of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) are advised to come forward for possible identification and recovery. Nigerians are equally enjoined to take extra measures to secure their cars by utilising special security features such as steering or pedal locks, tracking systems, etc. In the same vein, institutions and organizations are encouraged to enhance security and access control within their premises to minimise the possibility of theft and other mischief by criminals.
“Similarly, a 28-year-old female armourer, Fatima Garba has been arrested alongside her gang of kidnappers and armed robbers, notorious for attacking innocent Nigerians around Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna and Niger states.
“As an armourer, Fatima was responsible for ensuring the safety of the weapons used by the gang whenever not in use. Fatima, who confessed to being the gang’s armourer for over a year, claimed to receive a handsome reward each time the weapons were returned to her after each operation. She acknowledged knowing that the arms which she usually kept in a neatly dug hole in her compound were used for robberies, kidnapping and other criminal purposes.
“Investigations show that Fatima, who is a trader and single mother of two was recruited by her boyfriend, Abubakar Usman. Other members of the gang include: Samaila Usman ‘m’ aged 28, Mohammed Ibrahim ‘m’ aged 30, Mohammed Agali ‘m’ aged 22, Dahiru Bello ‘m’ aged 33, Shamsu Mohammed ‘m’ aged 30, Mohammed Usman ‘m’ aged 37, Umar Abdullahi ‘m’ 33, Buhari Abubakar ‘m’ aged 33 and Abubakar Garba ‘m’ aged 37.
“Since they began operations, the gang is estimated to have made over N12million from their various criminal escapades.
“Recovered from the gang are:
– 5 AK47 rifles
– 1 G3 rifle
– 1 Berretta pistol
– 1476 rounds of ammunition
– 36 rounds of G3 ammunition
– 6 AK47 magazines
– 1 operational vehicle
– 8 mobile phones
– Box containing operational tools
“All the suspects will be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations.
“Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A. Adamu, assures Nigerians of the continued commitment of the force to the protection of lives and property and rid the country of crime and criminality especially during this lockdown period.”