Residents of Tungamaji, a satellite community in Abuja are still in shock, 48 hours after gunmen overran the settlement, robbing, and kidnapping 11 people including women and children.
Some of the victims who have now regained their freedom narrated their gruesome ordeal in the hands of their captors to Channels Television on Friday.
Meanwhile, they have also called on the government to beef up security in the area.
The gunmen stormed the Tungan Maje village, a community bordering the Federal Capital Territory and Niger State, on Thursday, shooting sporadically in the air, after which they kidnapped some residents.
Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested 35 suspects for their various involvement and participation in a series of kidnapping, armed robbery, and other heinous crimes across the country.
In a series of tweets on Wednesday, the police said the arrests followed the unrelenting efforts by the Force to rid the country of heinous criminals and to get justice for victims of crimes.
Among those arrested include Adetokumbo Adenopo said to be the Founder and General Overseer of New Life Ministry, Lukosi in Sagamu area of Ogun State, and three other members of his criminal gang.
They are Chigozie Williams from Abia, Ugoji Linus from Imo, and Emmanuel Ani from Enugu State – said to be responsible for the kidnap for ransom of one Jonathan Ekpo from Benue State.
“Curiously, the pastor told the police operatives that he embarked on the crime for the expansion of his church and charity works.
“The victim, an employee of a logistics company was kidnapped on July 17, 2020, while on official duty to deliver goods in Shagamu, Ogun State,” one of the tweets said.
Another stated, “The victim was kept in an underground cabin inside the Pastor’s church building in Ogijo town, Ogun State by his abductors who demanded the payment of N20 million ransom as a condition for his release. He was subsequently rescued unhurt nine days after and reunited with his family by the police.”
Similarly, the police said another suspect, Udodiri Bright, and three others – Ekwuru Shadrack, Chimerie Igwe, and Chibuike Sunday were arrested on July 5 for the abduction and killing of a Nigerian-US Soldier, Chuks Okebata.
According to the police, Okebata had returned to Nigeria in 2017 for a holiday in his hometown in Okigwe, Imo State.
The suspects, said to be one of the foremost kidnapping groups terrorising the South East, were arrested 31 months after the incident following an intensive manhunt by the police team.
“The Police team also arrested a nine-man trans-boundary armed robbery and car snatching syndicate led by one Yakubu Hayatu, 30 years from Borno State.
“Members of the gang include: Adamu Awalu, 28years from Kano State, Abdulrahman Yakubu, 23years from Zaria, Yususf Adamu, 22years from Zaria, Kamal Japhet, 22years from Katsina, Abubakar Samaila, 20years from Zaria, Muhammadu Abdulahi, 20years from Zaria, Yahaya Mohammed, 18years from Kaduna State, and Ibrahim Abubakar, 21years from Kwara,” a tweet by the police said.
Investigations revealed that the syndicate had snatched over 30 exotic cars at gunpoint and killed two policemen.
The police said they used anti-tracker devices to evade arrest and deliver the vehicles to one Alhaji Garba in Maradi, Niger Republic.
They added that 18 vehicles have so far been recovered and the team was working with the INTERPOL to apprehend Garba and to recover the remaining vehicles.
Four Ak-47 rifles, one FMC rifle, one pump action gun, two double-barrel guns, one Beretta pistol, four AK-47 magazines, six cartridges, 378 rounds of live ammunition, and an anti-tracker device, among others items were recovered from the suspects.
In his remarks, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, said the suspects would be charged to court on the conclusion of investigations.
He also assured Nigerians that the battle against criminal elements in the country would be a continuous one.
Awelewa further explained that he and his wife were later released by the kidnappers who instructed them to look for money to pay the ransom for the release of their five children or else they will be killed.
His wife who is still in shock over the incident appealed to the government to assist them to secure the release of their children.
Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Commissioner for internal security as well the Commissioner of Police has visited the family of the victims to commiserate with the family and also to get first-hand information about how the incident happened.
The Police commissioner while assuring the residents that everything is being done to tackle the problem of banditry and kidnapping in Chikun local government, also urged them to always provide the security agencies with useful information that will lead to the arrest of criminal elements in the area.
The wife of a Kaduna-based medical doctor, Philip Ataga, who was abducted by kidnappers, along with her two children, on January 25, has been found dead along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
The woman and her two children were abducted from their home at the Juji community in Chikun local government area of the state by kidnappers who also killed a member of a local vigilante group in the area during the operation.
Sadly, a week after their abduction, the body of the woman was found on Saturday morning with the whereabouts of her two children still yet unknown.
The Vice-Chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in Taraba, Zainab Kashimu, was abducted by unknown gunmen at her residence in Jalingo on Friday.
Confirming the incident to Channels Television via a telephone interview, Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, said her abductors came in droves and whisked her away to an unknown destination.
He disclosed that efforts are on to ensure her safe rescue from the kidnappers.
Operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Union in the Kaduna State Police have arrested a 39-year-old pastor for allegedly faking his kidnap.
This was confirmed in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the police in the state, DSP Yakubu Sabo, on Wednesday.
According to the statement, the pastor, James Clement of Nasarawa Trikaniya of Chikun Local Government Area and another suspect, George Otokpa were arrested on January 27 for conspiring, and faking the kidnap and subsequently demanded a ransom of N500m from his family using the second suspect as the negotiator.
The police spokesman further explained that Clement was arrested at his hideout following a complaint made by two members of his family.
Both suspects are currently undergoing interrogation and according to the police, will be charged to court on completion of the investigation.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Umar Muri, has cautioned members of the public against such heartless and barbaric acts.
Muri gave an assurance that the Command will use the evidence against the suspects in the court of law to serve as a deterrent to others.
The police have busted a five-man kidnap syndicate reported to have been terrorising Safana Local Government Area of Katsina State.
The spokesman of the police in the state, SP Gambo Isah, disclosed this on Tuesday during a press briefing held at the command headquarters in the state.
“The syndicate was busted on Monday at about 16:00 hrs, based on a tip-off led by a joint operation of police and repentant bandits,” Isah said.
According to him, in the course of the investigation, the suspects confessed to have masterminded the kidnapping of a seven-year-old boy, one Abdurrahman Sama’ila at Runka village and demanded a payment of N3million as ransom.
Meanwhile, the command has also confirmed the arrest of four notorious middle-aged Indian hemp and illicit drug dealers after raiding a black spot in Charanchi and Kankia Local Government Areas of the state.