Police Parade 38 Suspected Kidnappers, Armed Robbers And Cattle Rustlers

The suspects

 

Operatives of the Operation Puff Adder have paraded 38 suspected kidnappers, armed robbers and cattle rustlers for various criminal activities.

Among the suspects is a nursing mother suspected to be involved in high-level kidnapping and car snatching in various parts of the north and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Parading them in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba said the other members of the kidnap gang that abducted the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education commission along Kaduna Abuja high-way are among the 38 suspects

“Operatives from the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), as well as Operatives from the Special Tactical Squad (STS) who are integral and very important components of the Operation Puff Adder scheme within this period, were able to arrest 38 suspects, one of them a female.

READ ALSO: NSCDC Arrests Suspects Allegedly Supplying Petrol Products To Boko Haram

“All of these persons that we are presenting to you today have been positively been indicted by our investigations in one way or the other, in various crimes particularly in kidnapping, armed robbery, crime theft, cattle rustling, unlawful possession of firearms, illicit manufacturing and fabrication of weapons, attempts to commit culpable homicide and in some clear cases actual homicide,” he stated.

Mba also explained that the police succeeded in intercepting 28 trucks loaded with grains meant to be delivered to bandits in Zamfara State.

Buhari Asks Troops To ‘Deal Ruthlessly’ With Cattle Rustlers, Bandits

President Buhari addressing troops deployed to curb the activities of bandits and criminals in Zamfara and neighbouring states under Operations Sharan Daji and Diran Mikiya, at Katsina Airport on August 25, 2018.
President Buhari addressing troops deployed to curb the activities of bandits and criminals in Zamfara and neighbouring states under Operations Sharan Daji and Diran Mikiya, at Katsina Airport on August 25, 2018.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has praised Nigerian troops for their service and dedication to the nation, urging them to remain ‘‘ruthless’’ in the battle against armed robbers, cattle rustlers and bandits.

President Buhari addressed the troops on Saturday at the Umar Musa Airport in Katsina State before leaving for Abuja.

He told the troops, which were deployed to curb the activities of bandits and criminals in Zamfara and neighbouring states under Operations Sharan Daji and Diran Mikiya, that he was pleased with their performance adding that Nigerians deserved to live in peace.

He then tasked them to deal with any armed robber, cattle rustler and bandit as ruthlessly as humanly possible.

“I am here and pleased at this opportunity to address you and express my pleasure and happiness as your Commander-in-Chief on your performance on the two respective operations.

‘‘Nigerians are looking up to you and us to secure the country. What is happening in the areas of operations are disgraceful. I’m very pleased with the way officers and men are firmly putting it down and I want you to be as ruthless as humanly possible. Nigerians deserve some peace.

‘‘The country has to be secured to be managed. We have been doing our best and we depend a lot on you to do what is needed in the field. I do not want you to spare any cattle rustler, armed robber or any person who thinks he is above the law,” he said.

The president reminded the troops that his administration had at inception pledged to provide security, enhance the economy and fight corruption.

He, however, commended the troops for the display of gallantry in the field of operations in Zamfara, Kaduna and some parts of Katsina state.

Cattle Rustlers Kill At Least 10 In Zamfara

At least 10 people were killed in raids by suspected cattle rustlers on four remote villages in Zamfara, police said on Thursday.

Residents of the affected community said the armed bandits stormed the villages in Birnin Magaji area of Zamfara state, in an apparent reprisal attack after local militia killed one of their numbers.

Police spokesperson, Mohammed Shehu told AFP that, “10 people were killed by the bandits.”

“From our reports, the attackers fled to the Rugu forest in neighbouring Katsina state,” he added.

Residents, however, gave a higher death toll.

“We lost 26 people in the attacks on Dutsin Wake, Oho, Badambaji and Kabingiro (villages),” said Dantani Bube, who lives in Dutsin Wake.

READ ALSO: NSCDC Arrests Fake Army Officer, Suspected Cable Thieves

Seventeen were killed in Dutsin Wake, seven in Oho and one each in Badambaji and Kabingiro, another resident, Lawwali Maishanu, told AFP by telephone from the area.

Maishanu said local militia had earlier killed a suspected bandit at a market.

Bandits then demanded the civilian vigilantes hand over those responsible, but they refused.

Bube and Maishanu said the gang then traced the militia members suspected of the killing to the four villages.

Zamfara has for several years been gripped by violence from armed gangs of cattle rustlers who have targeted herding and farming communities.

Cattle have been stolen and residents who resist them killed. This has led to villagers forming civilian militia groups as protection. But they, too, have been accused of abuses and killings of suspected thieves, leading to tit-for-tat attacks.

On June 2, cattle rustlers killed 23 people in the village of Zanoka after a battle with militia members who prevented them from stealing cattle.

In recent years the gangs have added kidnapping for ransom to the criminal activities across Zamfara and neighbouring Kaduna and Katsina states.

Kidnappers, Cattle Rustlers Spread Fear In Kaduna

Map of Kaduna State

 

A spate of kidnappings for ransom in the Birnin Gwari district of northern Nigeria’s Kaduna state has left residents afraid to even leave their homes.

“When a person travels, his family, friends and neighbours gather to pray for his safety because of the kidnappers,” said local resident Kabiru Mohammed.

“It’s celebrations once he returns because kidnapping on the highway has become the norm. It’s a nightmare that should only exist in fairytales,” he told AFP by telephone.

Mohammed and his neighbours have good reason to be anxious.

Kidnappings have reached unprecedented levels in the last two months. In early May, about 100 people were abducted in just two days on a road near the border with Zamfara state.

Haruna Musa, who also lives in Birnin Gwari, said the situation has forced people in at least six villages in the area to abandon their homes.

Last week, an armed gang raided the village of Maganda and kidnapped three wives of a businessman. Many locals now don’t sleep at night. Instead, they patrol their communities.

“I also join in the night patrols to encourage others,” said Mustapha Idris, the chief imam of Maganda.

But the creation of civilian militia has itself had deadly consequences. On May 6, at least 71 people were killed in Gwaska village during clashes with armed bandits.

Grisly warnings

Birnin Gwari is not alone in being affected. In Zamfara, there have been similar problems from kidnapping and cattle rustling gangs.

“The mere sound of a motorcycle engine outside your house at night robs you of sleep because it could be a sign that the dreaded bandits have come,” said Nuhu Dansadau.

Dansadau said his village, also called Dansadau, and others nearby have been repeatedly raided.

Aliyu Kawaye, who lives in the town of Anka, said the abductors seize cash and force families to sell their farm produce to raise the ransom payment.

According to the state government, more than 10,000 cattle have been stolen in the last seven years.

“What is more worrisome is the deliberate attack on farmers who dare to go to their farms,” said Dansadau.

“The bandits amputate their hands from the wrists, put the severed palms in the farmers’ pockets and send them back to the village as a warning to others.”

Lucrative venture

The kidnapping gangs and cattle thieves, who roam on motorcycles on the hunt for victims, are known to operate in northern Kaduna and Zamfara.

Both regions have been largely spared by the Boko Haram insurgency, another of Nigeria’s pressing security problems along with a land conflict between nomads and farmers.

The kidnappers’ heavily guarded camps dot the Rugu forest, which straddles Kaduna, Zamfara and the northern states of Kano, Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger.

Abductees whose families don’t pay ransoms are killed and their bodies dumped, according to security sources.

Kidnapping for ransom used to be a phenomenon isolated to oil-rich southern Nigeria. But it has spread further north and become lucrative because of economic hardship.

It has also attracted young ethnic Fulani herders who have lost their herds in unrest with farmers over grazing and watering rights.

Young Fulani herders now make up most of the marauding gangs in northern Nigeria and other West African countries, said Saleh Bayeri, of the Gan Allah Fulani Development Association.

Inadequate security

The Kaduna state government formed a joint military and police taskforce to combat kidnapping and cattle rustling in Birnin Gwari but has had little success.

In March, bandits likely armed with illegal weapons smuggled in from Mali and Libya, killed 11 troops at a camp in the area, prompting the military to withdraw.

In April, the Nigerian Air Force deployed special forces to Zamfara to fight the gangs but locals said more was needed.

“The bandits by far outnumber the troops and are better armed,” said Kawaye.

Zamfara governor Abdulaziz Yari has said he does not have adequate resources to police a state which at 40,000 square kilometres (15,400 square miles) is about the same size as Switzerland.

There are only 2,000 regular police officers, 400 riot police, 315 soldiers and fewer than 100 air force personnel for a population of more than four million, he said in February.

In response to the killings, he has ordered troops to shoot on sight anyone seen with a gun in affected areas. But that and a number of amnesty offers have had little effect.

“The best way to end this menace is for the government to send in more troops and weapons to fight these criminals as well as intensify security along our borders,” said Dansadau.

AFP

Seven Persons Killed In Nasarawa Fresh Attack

Seven persons were on Tuesday killed and two others injured in Kadarko Community of Keana Local Government Area, Nasarawa State.

The attack is perceived to be a reprisal as it occurred after cattle rustlers killed 73 cows, injured 18 other cows in the same community on Sunday morning.

In the Tuesday attack, Yamadaga village in Kadarko community was invaded by the suspects as early as 1:00 a.m. to unleash mayhem, leaving seven persons dead and two others injured.

The State Governor Tanko Al-Makura has, however, paid a visit to the affected Kadarko community on Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Suspected Cattle Rustlers Kill 73 Cows In Nasarawa

He commiserated with the victims and assured that investigations will be carried out to bring the perpetrators to book.

Al-Makura also assured residents of the community that mobile police unit will be deployed immediately to help restore calm.

The angry crowd, however, resisted the governor’s assurance, chanting that the Nigerian Army should instead be deployed to their community to maintain peace and order.

As at the time of filing this report, homes in Kadarko community are currently deserted as thousands were seen fleeing the community.

Two persons were also reportedly kidnapped in Kadarko community in the Sunday attack.

The cattle rustlers invaded Kadarko community around 4:00 am shooting into the air and chasing other cows into the bush in the process.

The victims of the attack who were mostly herdsmen who claimed that the masterminds of the attack were Tiv farmers and that it was a reprisal attack.

Suspected Cattle Rustlers Kill 73 Cows In Nasarawa

73 cows were killed while 18 other cows were injured in an early morning attack on Yamadaga village, Kadarko community in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State by suspected cattle rustlers.

The cattle rustlers invaded Kadarko community around 4:00 am on Sunday, January 29 shooting into the air. They were reported to have kidnapped two persons, chasing other cows into the bush in the process.

The victims of the attack who were mostly herdsmen claimed that the masterminds of the attack were Tiv farmers and that it was a reprisal attack.

READ ALSO: Buhari Calls For Global Support To Fight Boko Haram

Ahmed Abdullahi one of the cow owners said the rustlers unleashed mayhem when the villagers were asleep.

“I was sleeping and then I heard bullet sound everywhere, I didn’t see anybody but they killed my 73 cows, some of them were dispersed into the bush and I haven’t seen two of my children,” he said.

Scenes of the attack on Yamadaga village, Kadarko community in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa state by suspected cattle rustlers on Sunday, January 29.

A chief in the village, Ardo of Yamadaga, Husseini Adamu, said the attackers were numbering close to 1,000 and they struck welding various dangerous weapons.

“In the morning around 6:00 am, our children saw some Tiv people numbering up to 1,000 holding sophisticated weapons. They killed some cattle, went away with many.

“They even took motorcycles. Before I came, the place was already in chaos and we realised that at a spot they have killed 73 cows excluding the ones that they carted away with and also they went with two of our children,” he said.

Nasarawa State Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Bello, confirmed the report of the attack to Channels Television. He said investigations are on to unravel the identity of the attackers.

Police Arrest Cattle Rustlers, Cable Vandals In Katsina

The police in Katsina State have arrested various criminal suspects including cattle rustlers, cable vandals, and car thieves, attributing the crime reduction rate in the state to support offered by the people of the state.

Speaking during a press conference at the command headquarters on Saturday, November 11, the state Commissioner of Police, Besan Gwana appreciated the people of the state and urged them not to relent in assisting the police in combating crime in the state.

Gwana said a total of 29 suspects were paraded for various criminal offences within the past one week in Katsina.

The suspects paraded include three car thieves, two armed robbers, telecommunications cable vandals, drugs trafficking syndicate, and five-man gang of cattle rustlers from Niger Republic.

Weapons including two magazine ripples, bows and arrows, and locally made guns were recovered from the suspects.

Troops Kill Suspected Boko Haram Cattle Rustlers, Recover Weapons

Troops Rescue Soldiers, Civilians Kidnapped In RiversThe army has engaged some members Boko Haram sect appears to have also taken to cattle rustling, in order to survive, recovering deadly weapons from them.

The army engaged the suspects over the weekend in Borno and Yobe states, killing four of them and recovering assorted arms and ammunition.

The army spokesperson, Brigadier General Sani Usman said the troops of the 8 division mobile strike team intercepted the suspects at Lingir village of Borno state.

The soldiers engaged the insurgents while they were driving the stolen cows into Maiduguri cattle market, and in the resultant shootout, three of the suspected terrorists were killed.

READ ALSO: Police Parade Boko Haram Suspect, Others In Ondo

Five AK-47 rifles, five magazines and 11 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition were recovered from the terrorists, while one soldier was injured.

Also on Saturday, troops of the 120 battalion supported by local vigilantes intercepted a group of suspected Boko Haram cattle rustlers at Kirbiri village in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe state, following a tip off.

Brigadier General Usman in a statement said one of the terrorists was killed, while several others escaped with gunshot wounds. The troops recovered an AK-47 rifle and 2 empty rifle magazines.

Usman said that remnants of the insurgents have resorted to snatching of herds from poor pastoralists and selling them.

Police Arrest Suspected Cattle Rustlers In Ogun

The Ogun State Police Command has arrested four cattle rustlers at Ofada area of Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state.

According to the Police Public Relations Officer,Mr  Abimbola Oyeyemi, the four men had earlier in the week robbed the duo of Muhammed Ruga and Babuga of two cows and were arrested while planning to carry out a similar operation at Orile Igbehin area of Ofada

”During their earlier operation, the suspects who are: Madu Abuchi m’, Onyeka Okafor m’, Francis Onyeka m’ and Hafiz Mustapha attacked the two herdsmen with cutlasses, tied them in both hands and legs after beating them thoroughly before they made away with their two big cows.” the PPRO said

”Luck, however, ran against them when they were coming for another operation and information got to the police at Owode Egba division consequent upon which the Divisional Police Officer CSP Sheu Alao led his men to effect the arrest of the suspects.

”The suspects have been identified by their victims, they also confessed being the brain behind the hijacking of many cement loaded trucks in the state and that one Femi who has houses in Shagamu and Itori is the receiver. Effort is going on to apprehend the said suspect,” he said.

Some of the items recovered included cutlasses, charms and different types of hand sets, an unregistered motorcycle among other items.

Subsequently, the Commissioner of Police CP Ahmed Iliyasu directed that the suspects be transferred to the Federal State Anti Robbery Squad for discrete investigation.

DSS Arrests Suspected Kidnap Kingpin, Gunrunners, Others

Suspected kidnappers and gunrunners Rabiu Sani (27) and Abubakar Sani (30)

The Department of State Services says it has achieved more progress in its bid to ensure the safety of Nigerians with the arrest of more suspected kidnappers, gunrunners, cattle rustlers and drug dealers across the country.

Between June 18 and July 5, 2017, the security agency said its operatives arrested more than 20 persons including a suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Hassan.

DSS spokesperson, Mr Tony Opuiyo, said in a statement on Friday that Hassan was arrested along with six of his associates by a joint team of its operatives and the military in Kakuri, Kaduna state on Monday (July 3).

He added that the suspected kidnap kingpin is believed to have gained notoriety for his operations on the Abuja-Kaduna highway.

Those arrested with him are Yusuf Saidu, Rashida Usman (female), Abubakar Shuaibu, Abubakar Suleiman, Huzairu Bawa and Sani Abubakar.

On July 5, the DSS said it arrested Rabiu Sani (27) and Abubakar Sani (30) along the Zaria-Funtua Road in Giwa LGA of Kaduna for kidnapping and gunrunning.

According to the statement, operatives recovered one Baretta pistol one empty magazine; 1,000 rounds of 7.62 calibre live ammunition; one round of 9mm calibre live ammunition; four empty AK-47 rifle magazines; five empty F.N rifle magazines, one sky blue Volkswagen Vento Car and N457,140, among other things.

Also, on July 5, operatives of the DSS arrested one Loveday OGBONNA, a native of Owoahiafor in Obingwa LGA in Abia State at a fast food restaurant in Aba. He was arrested for his alleged involvement in the kidnap of one Mrs Viola Orji.

Still on July 5, the DSS said it arrested the duo of Rabiu Dahiru (a.k.a Kachalla) and Umar Ya’u in possession of 26 cartridges, amulets and vests bearing charms at Ikara Junction in Tudun Wada LGA, Kano State.

The same day, Shehu Mainasara (a.k.a Gizga) was arrested and subsequently handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for his “activities in illicit drugs”.

Between June 29 and 30 June, the DSS said it arrested Jolly David Didi and the trio of Iliya Alhaji Muhktar, Usha’u Hassan and Muazu Usman at Azikiwe Road, Port Harcourt and Mariri, along Kano-Wudil Road, Kumbotso LGA, Kano State, respectively for their alleged involvement in kidnapping activities.

“Didi, who hails from Ikot-Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State, was arrested for his complicity in the kidnap of a female staff of UBA on May 1, 2017, around Garrison Bus stop,” the DSS said.

“Similarly, on 29th June 2017, Sunday Ene was arrested at Igbo-Etche Road, Obio/Akpor LGA, Rivers State for his complicity in the kidnap and murder of John Mbanugu on 21st June 2017 in the area.”

Furthermore, the DSS said in collaboration with the local vigilante, it arrested a 50-year-old man, Dahiru Umaru Iro, was arrested in Nasarawa State “for his support and patronage of a notorious cattle rustling and kidnap gang headed by Yusuf Mohammed Sani in the state.”

DSS Chronicles Early 2017 Successes

Miles away in Taraba State, the statement said a team of DSS and military personnel arrested Abubakar Mohammed and Hamidu Musa at Mararaba Garba Chide in Gassol LGA, Taraba State for their alleged involvement in Boko Haram activities.

It added that one Bashir Mohammed was arrested on June 20, at Ungwar Barnawa, Shekar Madaki, Kumbotso LGA, Kano State and eight AK-47 rifles, 20 magazines, 1,000 rounds of live ammunition, a gas cylinder, 28 hand-held grenades, a printer, three laptop computers and one Honda Civic car were recovered from him.

Earlier, on June 18 the security agency said its operatives with the support of the police raided the residence of one Chidera Njoku at Umuagwu village in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State and recovered one locally made single barrel shotgun, 82 rounds of 5.56 live ammunition and one human skull.

The agency said the arrests will help it consolidate its recent successes in thwarting terrorists’ attacks, kidnapping, and banditry in different parts of the country.

It assured Nigerians that it will continue to partner with relevant stakeholders to ensure that law and order are maintained.

We Have Flushed Criminals Out Of Falgore Forest, Says Buratai

Tukur-Buratai-Boko Haram, Chibok girlsThe Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai, says the Nigerian Army has flushed out criminals from Falgore Forest and nearby communities in Kano State.

Buratai said this during a visit to the forest with Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, to inspect the outcome of the army’s operation in the forest, which was tagged Operation Harbin Kunama.

He said, “Your excellency, we are leaving Falgore Forest gladdened by what has been accomplished so far, our troops attached to Operation Harbin Kunama have done a critical but professional exercises here and its includes, arrests of many cattle rustlers, recovery of cattle and other domestic animals as well as arrest of Fulani Herdsmen who were hitherto creating disturbances around the area.”

The Nigerian Army had commenced the operation and set up the camp in the forest following the request the governor made to the Presidency, asking it to help in combating the problem of insecurity in and around the forest.

kano, Ganduje, Youth empowerment,
Governor Ganduje

Governor Ganduje specifically wanted the Presidency to help tackle cattle rustling, clashes between herdsmen and farmers, armed robbery, kidnapping and other related crimes around the Falgore Forest axis.

In addition to eradicating these crimes, the chief of army staff informed the governor that the troops had also conducted various humanitarian exercises such as medical outreach, settlement of disputes over the ownership of farms.

After travelling deep into the forest, along with other senior army officers and top security and government officials, the governor said he was convinced that the Falgore Forest axis and nearby communities are now safe due to the operation.

He said, “Having seen the impact of the ground operation of the Nigerian Army here and having heard the report of the successes recorded from various intelligence sources, I am convinced that the issue of cattle rustling, herdsmen disturbances, armed robbery and kidnapping are now things of the past in this part of Kano State and do hereby officially declare operation Harbin Kunama a success and that the military camp be closed.”

Police Recover 200 Cows From Rustlers In Kaduna

Cattle-Rustling-KAnoThe Kaduna State Police Command has recovered 200 stolen cows from rustlers and arrested 40 persons for their allegedly committing various offences ranging from armed robbery, rape, kidnapping, drug trafficking to vandalism.

Among those nabbed was a 48-year-old man who was arrested for allegedly defiling a seven-year-old minor in Kaduna metropolis.

The command also recovered guns, ammunition and other dangerous weapons from the suspects.

Parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters, the Kaduna State, the Commissioner of Police, Agyole Abeh, said they were apprehended by his men during operations in various parts of the state.

He said, “In pursuance of our mandate within the last few weeks, the command recorded successes in the area of the arrest of armed robbery suspects, kidnap suspects, those involved in the sale and distribution of illicit drugs which has become a menace to the youths.

“In recent times, we have associated certain level of violence with these youths who take drugs. We are going after them and we have been able to successfully apprehend some of these criminals involved in the activities.”

The police commissioner explained that the arrest of the suspects in various locations of Kaduna was part of efforts by the command to reduce the level of crime in the state.

While gave the assurance that the police would check the rising crime rate in the state, he advised members of the public to be mindful of criminals who disguise themselves as visitors to rob people in their homes.

He said, “I also want to intimate you of a new method which criminals have devised within the metropolis.
“They disguise themselves in form of dignitaries coming to pay a visit to certain persons, and the unsuspecting security guards will open the door and give them unhindered access to the house only for them to turn out to be criminals.”

He added that such criminals go about their activities without people knowing because they would hold everybody in the house hostage.

He assured residents that the command’s new crime prevention drive, ‘Operation Restore Hope’, would help ensure their safety.

“We are going to embark on aggressive raids in particular area that are identified and you are going to notice massive movement of police components to these areas,” he said.

“I want to also assure the public that I have constituted a formidable team to ensure that do not just to keep Kaduna safe, but citizens would be guaranteed of their safety.”