By Ngozi Uwajare
A gang of suspected robbers recently ran into trouble waters in Niger State.
Police operatives in the state arrested two suspected armed robbers and kidnappers identified as Muhammed Bello, 32 years old and Nura Umar, 30, who are alleged to have been involved In various kidnapping and armed robbery incidents in the state. They are accused of attacking policemen on duty and stealing police guns.
The police said they also recovered AK47 rifles, magazines and cartridges along the Makara/ Mokwa Road axis in Niger State.
The Niger State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Monday Bala Kuryas told Saturday Sun that on September 25, 2021, the police operatives on the “Safe, Highway Patrol Team” while on routine patrol along Makara /Mokwa road during their stop and search, gave a hot chase to some armed robbers who ran to Sabon Makara village, where the driver abandoned the vehicle and they took to their heels.
He said the two suspects, Mohammed Bello and Nura Umar both of Birnin/kebbi in Kebbi State were arrested with their Honda Accord car with registration number CG 735 ABC.
He said during the search of the car, the police recovered two police AK47 rifles, 16 magazines, 417 ammunition of 7.62 calibre and 150 RPG live ammunition.
CP Kuryas said that another suspected gang was arrested by a policeman attached to the new Bussa Division. He said one Habib Sani, 25 years old was arrested at Swashi Village with 14 locally fabricated guns consisting of six double barrels and eight triple barrel guns concealed in a sack while on transit in a commercial vehicle from Kanni Village to Guffanti, New-Bussa, in Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State.
CP Kuryas explained further that the two suspects, Mohammed Bello and Nura Umar were involved in armed robbery and kidnapping in Niger State.
He said the two suspects have been involved in forcefully stealing of policemen’s rifles when they were in operation and that they have been terrorising the state and have been robbing the victims.
He said with the effort of the police operatives through their intelligence gathering they intercepted them and that they confessed to several armed robbery and kidnapping operations in the state in which members of their syndicate had been arrested and some policemen’s rifles and magazines already recovered from them.
CP Kuryas said the command has had several encounter with the armed robbers and kidnappers through intelligence gathering and have raided the hideouts of the criminals who came in from other neighbouring states to carry out their nefarious activities.
“ Right now, we have arrested over 20 suspected criminals and immediately the suspects had been charged to court.
Speaking with Saturday Sun, the suspect, Muhammed Bello told the reporter: “I have been involved in several armed robberies and kidnappings in Niger State. We always come from Kebbi State, and we have a gang of armed robbers. We have robbed victims and attacked different policemen on duty and collected their AK47 rifles and magazines which we used during our own operation. We robbed passengers along the highway on Kaduna|Niger highway and have robbed passengers of their valuable items. We kidnapped victims and took them to our hIdeouts in forest in Suleja axis. We then demanded N4 million and we usually hold our victims hostage until when the ransom is paid.
“We used to carry ammunition to our hideout before the policemen intercepted us when we were going for another operation and we were arrested. We didn’t wait until the policemen gave us a hot chase and we were arrested and they recovered policemen’s AK47 rifles and magazines which we used for the operation. We have confessed to the police, and we’re pleading for mercy.
Another suspect, Nuhu Umar said: “I hail from Birnin-Kebbi State. We have been involved in armed robbery and kidnapping. We were arrested but our other gang members had escaped. Whenever the policemen killed our gang members, we continued to regroup. We formed a gang with people from different states in the North. We have robbed several people and kidnapped victims along Kaduna/Abuja Expressway.
It was when the policemen started killing our members that we started attacking policemen and we would collect their AK47 rifles and cartridges. We didn’t kill policemen, we collected their AK47 rifles which we used for our operation. It was luck that ran against us and we were arrested, he said.
CP Kuryas said that he had charged his officers to go after the criminals.
He said the suspects will soon be charged to court.