The FCT’s joint security operation involving the police tactical squad, operatives of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) are said to have raided the criminals’ hideout, following actionable intelligence.
Authorities say members of local vigilantes and hunters also provided useful information and support in the operation.
One of the kidnappers was arrested by the police squad and efforts to apprehend others are ongoing.
Police operatives in Benue State have arrested eight suspected kidnappers and recovered the bodies of four victims.
Anene Catherine, the Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the arrest of the suspects in a statement on Thursday.
She explained that the suspects were part of a 10-man gang of kidnappers who escaped from the Sankara area of the state.
According to the command’s spokesperson, police detectives trailed the fleeing persons and arrested eight of them in Osun State, and brought them back to Benue for further investigation.
She noted that the suspects, on Monday, opted to lead police detectives to Tavachan forest in Mbamon in Kastina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue where they buried their slain victims.
Upon arriving at the scene, Catherine disclosed that a deep well and a shallow grave were found in the forest with decomposed bodies of the suspects’ victims.
“Suspects confessed that some of the victims died due to inability to survive the trauma of being held hostage while others were killed for not paying the required ransom.
“Two of the suspects also confessed to have killed their wives for making attempt to expose their nefarious acts. Four corpses were exhumed for autopsy while an investigation into the case is ongoing to enable the arrest of suspects at large and unravel more facts about the case,” said the command’s spokesperson.
She noted that the police have continued to gain victory over banditry in the state, particularly the Sankara axis.
Within the last two weeks, Catherine stated that operatives deployed in Sankara dislodged bandits’ camps and recovered arms and ammunition.
She added that the suspects have been arrested and charged to court while normalcy has been restored in various markets within the area.
Eight suspected members of a high-profile, serial kidnapping syndicate have been arrested at Omo Ijesa village in Osun State.
The Osun State Police Command disclosed this on Sunday via a statement issued by its spokesman, SP Opalola Yemisi, adding that the arrest followed credible intelligence the command received.
She said the suspects were involved in the kidnap of a 65-year-old, Akiishi Catherine in Benue State, thus forcing the Commissioner of Police, CP Olawale Olokode, to lead the operation.
“Prior to the arrest, Police investigations revealed that the suspects relocated to Osun State after the kidnap of the woman as a deceptive tactics to avoid arrest by the Police in Benue State,” she said.
“The suspects have also planned to use Osun State as a safe haven for the negotiation and collection of ransom even after murdering the woman in cold blood.”
The police authorities identified the suspects as Orikashima David, Teryange Demenogo, Terngu Tortindi, Anawuese Akough, Mbalumulum Kaorga, Comfort Terdoo, Michael Msendoo and Aondoaseer Terver, all Tivs from Benue State.
The suspects were said to have murdered the kidnap victim in Benue State before relocating to Osun State.
According to the police spokesman, the suspects revealed to the police team how they have murdered three other victims in their previous operations, adding that they would be handed over to the Benue State Police Command as soon as preliminary investigations are concluded.
Reacting to the incident, the police job commended personnel of the command for a job well done, reassuring Osun citizens that there will be no hiding place for criminals in the state.
He noted that the new policing vision of the Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP Usman Alkali Baba, is already assisting the command in redefining its strategies toward combating crimes in the state.
While in Kaduna, the air chief paid a courtesy call on Governor Nasir El-Rufai at the Government House in the state capital.
He thanked the governor for his support to NAF in the state and commended him for his zeal towards tackling the security challenges in the state.
In his remarks, Governor El-Rufai thanked Amao for the visit and singled out NAF personnel in Kaduna for their professionalism, dedication, and particularly for their integrity in all dealings with the Kaduna State government.
He decried that for a long time, Nigerians have taken peace and security for granted until the current spate of insecurity afflicting the nation.
The governor called on all Nigerians to appreciate and support the efforts of the military as they continue to make efforts to keep the nation safe.
“The security situation could have been worse but for the efforts of our Armed Forces,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet.
Governor El-Rufai also stated that governors in the north-west region had agreed to assist the military, particularly in efforts at employing scientific measures towards containing insecurity.
On the payment of ransom to kidnappers, he reiterated the resolve of his government not to pay any ransom to bandits and kidnappers.
The governor went further to state that despite the threats of kidnapping, schools would continue to remain open, saying the decision was taken so as not to allow criminals to dictate the education of children in the state.
He also noted that the ability of the military to swiftly respond to kidnapping has further given the state the confidence to keep schools open.
Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers have attacked the Federal College of Forestry in Kaduna State, abducting several students.
The college is located few metres away from the Nigerian Defence Academy in the Mando area of Kaduna State.
Confirming the incident, the spokesman of the Kaduna State Police Command, Mohammed Jalige told Channels Television that the attackers invaded the college located at Mando area in the outskirts of Kaduna metropolis at about 3 am on Friday and abducted some students.
He however said that the exact number of students abducted is uncertain.
He explained that security operatives were mobilized to the college upon hearing about the attack and were able to secure the remaining students.
Men of the Nigerian Army were engaged in a gun duel with suspected kidnappers operating along the Owo-Ifon Expressway in Ondo State around midnight on Thursday.
The soldiers, ostensibly on patrol along the expressway, reportedly rammed into the kidnappers who had barricaded the road, while attempting to abduct some travellers.
The Public Relations Officer of 32 Artillery Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Owena Cantonment, based in Akure, the state capital, Captain Ayorinde Omojokun confirmed the incident to Channels Television in a telephone conversation.
According to Omojokun, the soldiers were on patrol in the area, and on sighting the soldiers, the hoodlums opened fire on them while the soldiers responded too.
He disclosed that when the hoodlums could no longer resist the soldiers gunfire, they subsequently abandoned the victims and fled into a nearby forest with gunshots injuries.
Some of the soldiers too were said to have sustained injuries and are presently receiving treatment in a nearby hospital.
The Owo/Ifon highway has been a major route where kidnappers operate often in Ondo State.
A first class traditional ruler in Ondo State, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Israel Adeusi was shot and killed while traveling on the road in November.
The Nigeria Police Force has paraded some suspected kidnappers for killing a six-year-old girl after demanding ₦8 million ransom from the victim’s family.
Parading the suspects in Abuja on Wednesday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the abduction was carried out on November 2, 2020, in Gabije community of Kogi State.
Also paraded were some suspected armed robbers and cattle rustlers.
The suspects were said to have been positively linked through investigations by the Force Intelligence Bureau.
Mba told journalists that the girl was kidnapped alongside her 14-year-old brother, noting that while the teenager brother was said to have escaped from the abductors, the girl, however, could not survive as she was killed by her captors and buried in a shallow grave.
Channels Television learned that the victim’s parents could not afford the ₦8m ransom and were trying to negotiate the amount before involving the police authorities.
Operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have arrested two high profiled kidnappers terrorising Karim Lamido Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The arrest followed intelligence gathering by men of the command on the nefarious activities of the kidnap kingpins.
Parading them before journalists on Monday in Jalingo, the State Commandant of NSCDC, Muhammed Waksha, said that more are still at large and their nets are spread across Taraba to get them arrested.
“These two persons were arrested in two different locations in Same Local Government Area of Karim Lamido,” he said.
“They are high profiled kidnappers; one of them was arrested at Jebjeb community, while the other was arrested at Makko Community.
“The old man there is found to be taking arrested kidnap suspects on bail, so indirectly he is an accomplice and has been in the act for long.
“We arrested based on the intelligence report we have been gathering for long and we are still going to get those at large, they cannot escape our nets.”
On the surge of kidnapping activities in Taraba state, Waksha reiterated his commitment to collaborating with other security agencies to flush out hoodlums causing havoc in the state.
He called on residents of the state to always report suspicious movement in their domains, adding that the suspected kidnappers, Adamu Ahmadu and Yahaya Madugu, have confessed to having committed the crimes they were accused of.
Taraba State, Northeast Nigeria has been witnessing a surge in kidnapping activities with many underreported.
No fewer than two thousand criminals have been killed by troops between March and December across various parts of the country, the military has said.
The Director of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, disclosed this on Thursday while addressing a press conference in Abuja.
He explained that a total of 2,403 criminals were neutralised in a bid to contain the excesses of insurgents, kidnappers and others whose activities threaten the peace and security of Nigeria.
General Enenche added that troops rescued a total of 864 kidnapped victims across the country and arrested 1,910 criminals with a large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment recovered during the period.
He stated that the military would continue to sustain the offensive against all criminal elements and not relent until peace was restored to every troubled zone in the country.
The military spokesman also reassured Nigerians that the military remained committed to its duty of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity.
He, however, called for the provision of timely and credible information that would aid the military in the fight against insurgency and emerging security challenges.
Read the full text of General Enenche’s briefing below:
RECORD OF ARMED FORCES OF NIGERIA OPERATIONS FOR YEAR 2020 FROM 18 MARCH TO 30 DECEMBER
As you are aware, the Directorate of Defence Media Operations (DDMO) came into full operations from 18 March 2020.
Since its establishment, the DDMO have worked assiduously to meet its mandate; to manage military operations information from all theatres of operation across the Country.
All through, the Directorate provided a single, coordinated voice to disseminate timely and credible information on all Defence Headquarters-led operations.
We have achieved these through daily press releases, weekly press briefings, as well as quarterly updates and sometimes personal appearances on different media houses, and these would not have been possible without your cooperation and support, gentlemen of the press. We honestly appreciate you.
As we come to the end of the year, it is necessary for us to jog memories on the unrelenting and committed efforts of the Nigerian Military and other security agencies to resolve the security challenges across the country.
This would give a better perspective of the cumulative results of our operational activities and achievements. Against this backdrop, I will be giving a record on the Armed Forces of Nigeria’s operations from 18 March to 30 December 2020.
The efforts and sacrifices of the gallant officers and men of the Military as well as other security agencies that conduct these operations have been progressive.
Within the period under review, troops engaged in a series of land, maritime and air operations, involving both kinetic and non-kinetic activities across the country.
The land operations conducted among others across the various theatres of operation include; clearance, ambush, raid, picketing, cordon and search operations as well as artillery bombardments and aggressive patrols.
Others were maritime operations involving anti-piracy, anti-illegal bunkering, anti-crude oil theft and anti-pipeline vandalism operations as well as other duties such as anti-smuggling operations.
Furthermore, comprehensive air operations including air patrols, Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance missions, offensive air strikes, air interdictions, search and rescue operations as well as close air support and air cover for ground troops.
Although some of our troops paid the supreme prize in the course of the operations, our dogged troops have consistently exhibited gallantry and resilience in the various operations.
Within the timeframe in focus, troops neutralised scores of terrorists and bandits, while many others were incapacitated, and their camps destroyed.
Our operations also inhibited activities of economic saboteurs as well as exposed and obviated other criminal activities.
In addition, several other criminal elements, including high profile ones were either killed in action or arrested, sometimes together with their families as well as informants and gunrunners.
Besides, there are records of scores of criminals surrendering due to troops’ overwhelming superior firepower and intelligence activities.
Other feats recorded in the course of our operations were the rescue of kidnapped victims, prominent among which, is the recent rescue of 344 schoolboys of Government Science Secondary School Kankara, as well as the Islamiya children, all in Katsina State.
Others were repelling and forestallment of terrorists and bandits’ attacks on civilians and troops. Troops also recovered caches of arms and ammunition, equipment, vehicles and oodles of livestock within the period.
You may as well recall that, in the maritime environment, troops in major and subsidiary operations were able to disrupt smuggling activities, immobilise illegal refining sites, arrest perpetrators, seize foreign parboiled rice and recover tons of petroleum products.
In the North-West zone of the country, between 18 March and 31 December 2020, a cumulative total of 5,281 livestock, 6,951 rounds of ammunition and 120 assorted rifles were recovered from the armed bandits by the gallant troops in the Zone.
Furthermore, a total of 455 kidnapped victims were rescued and 473 armed bandits were killed in action.
In the same vein, a total of 461 arrests were made in the Zone including high profile armed bandits, gun runners and bandits’ collaborators, while total cash of N6,365,550 was recovered from armed bandits and their informants in the Zone.
Progressively, in the North-East zone of the Country within the period, 200 kidnapped victims were rescued by the gallant troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
A total of 1,385 rounds of ammunition, 45 grenades as well as 95 assorted rifles were recovered from BHT/ISWAP fighters. In addition, several gun trucks were captured, while some others were destroyed during air strikes.
Equally, 1,805 insurgents/terrorists including commanders were killed by the troops aside scores killed by air raids/attacks. Additionally, within the period, a total of 79 arrests were made including high-value targets.
In the North-Central zone of the country, within the period, troops of Operations SAFE HAVEN, WHIRL STROKE and THUNDER STRIKE have achieved appreciable successes.
A total of 130 kidnapped victims were rescued and 105 assorted rifles as well as 513 rounds of ammunition and 1,055 rustled cattle, were recovered from armed bandits and other criminal elements in the Zone.
In the same vein, a total of 1,250 criminals including family members of the Darul Salam sect were arrested within the period. Furthermore, troops neutralised a total of 125 armed bandits including militia gang leaders.
In the South-South Zone, the Armed Forces of Nigeria working with other security agencies recorded remarkable results in their efforts against economic sabotage and other sundry crimes in the Zone.
Within the period under review, a cumulative total of 8,890,300 litres of stolen AGO and 33,516,00 litres of DPK were impounded by troops of Operation DELTA SAFE.
In the same vein, the gallant troops immobilised a total of 185 illegal refining sites, 85 dugout pits and 163 metal storage tanks within the period.
Additionally, troops impounded a cumulative total of 31,236.8 barrels of stolen crude oil as well as 12,272,652 litres of stolen PMS from oil thieves in the Zone. Also, a total of 47 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 72 vandals and criminals were arrested.
Furthermore, a total of 4,250 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled smuggled rice were impounded and 45 boats engaged in illegal activities were arrested.
Troops also arrested a total of 53 pirates and 25 trucks as well as recovered 23 rifles, 65,330 rounds of ammunition and destroyed 23 sea pirate camps.
Similarly, troops of Operation AWATSE in the South-West Zone between 18 March and 30 December 2020, impounded a total of 10,458,600 litres of PMS; 15,345 barrels of stolen crude oil and 345,000 litres of stolen AGO.
Additionally, troops recovered a total of 3,594 rounds of ammunition and 14 assorted rifles. Also, within the period, a total of 23 illegal refining sites were immobilised, while 15 boats and 23 trucks engaged in illegal activities were arrested.
In the same vein, within the period 35 kidnapped victims were rescued, while 48 arrests were made.
In addition to the kinetic operations, the Armed Forces of Nigeria carried out non-kinetic operations in form of Civil-Military Cooperation Activities (CIMIC).
A total of 92 boreholes were sunk for host communities and 16 schools and worship centres were renovated across the Country.
Additionally, 16 clinics and dispensaries were constructed and donated, including buses to host communities.
Moreover, the Armed Forces of Nigeria constructed roads installed transformers and solar power equipment in some host communities. The military also fostered several stakeholders and reconciliation meetings between hostile communities and carried out medical outreaches.
In summary, the Armed Forces of Nigeria from 18 March to 30 December 2020 neutralised 2,403 criminal elements across the Country. This is in addition to scores of other terrorists and armed bandits killed during air strikes.
Troops also rescued a total of 864 kidnapped victims across the Country. In addition, a total of 9,684,797 litres of stolen AGO and 33,516,000 litres of DPK were recovered.
Equally, 1,910 criminal elements were arrested, and a large cache of arms, ammunition and equipment were recovered during the period.
Furthermore, a total of 46,581.8 barrels of stolen crude oil and 22,881,257 litres of stolen PMS were recovered by the troops of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
Gleaning from the available information as I have just presented, there is no gainsaying that the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other security agencies in the Year 2020 yielded appreciable results.
Our operational performance for the year is a show of our commitment, synergy and determination to lay down our lives to protect our great Nation.
We will continue to sustain the offensive and will not relent until peace is restored to every troubled zone in Nigeria. The general public is also assured of our commitment to protect our economic assets anywhere.
The High Command of the Nigerian Military wishes to thank the general public for their support and further solicit their cooperation towards providing credible and timely information that will facilitate proactive engagements in our operations.
The Military High Command also commends all the gallant troops of the Armed Forces and personnel of other security agencies involved in various operations across the country for their resilience, doggedness and commitment.
Troops are further encouraged to remain resolute and decisive in securing the country.
Once again, I thank members of the press for their understanding and support for our course.