Operatives of the Intelligence Response Team at the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB/IRT) of the Nigeria Police have arrested four persons suspected to be armed robbery kingpins terrorising Shendam area and other neighbouring communities in Plateau State.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, stated this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The suspects were arrested by the security operatives following several complaints from residents about the activities of the gang in the locality.
They include Mij Yawa Buba ‘m’ 36, Saidu Manu Saleh ‘m’ 30, Saleh Musa ‘m’ 20, and Ibrahim Deri ‘m’ 27 – all natives of Shendam in Plateau State.
Saleh Musa was the key suspect nabbed by the police operatives in a raid through actionable intelligence information that he intended to buy an AK47 rifle in the town.
When interrogated by the police on why he intended to buy the rifle, he named Ibrahim (alias Alhaji) as one of the gang members in their syndicate which was responsible for major robbery and kidnapping operations.
The investigation by the police team also led to the arrest of Miji Yawa Buba – a resident of Angwar Yargam in the same community where the rifle was found and recovered by the security operatives.
Manu Saidu, in his confessional statement, said he conspired with some of his cousins namely Bareli Bello, Hussaini Bello, Abdo Baleri, Isa Baleri and Ibrahim Baleri, as well as his two younger brothers Yuguda Saidu and Yahaya Saidu (now late), to buy an AK47 rifle to protect their cattle.
He added that they bought the rifle from one Baba Mallam at Yelwa for N300,000 while the weapon was usually kept at the house of Alhaji Baleri.
On his part, Saleh Saidu confessed that it was Ibrahim Deri who asked him to get 60-round ammunition for the rifle at Shendam, saying they had a good relationship.
He said he had participated in the armed robbery at a provision store owned by one Alhaji Muntari in Shendam and robbed him of N200,000, but denied involvement in any kidnapping.
From intelligence gathered, the gang was also alleged to have robbed many people and pharmacy outlets in the town, during which a pharmacist identified as Ibrahim Babawuro in Shendam community sustained gunshot wounds.
One of the suspects claimed he only pulled the trigger to test the gun. He, however, denied knowledge of the gang leader Saleh.
However, in his statement, he told the police team that he was a herder and owned a herd of 30 cows.
Among the items recovered from the crime scene included one AK47 assault rifle and some assorted ammunition.