Operatives of the Nigeria Police Intelligence Response Team, working with the Taraba State Police Command, have arrested a total of 11 notorious kidnapping suspects in Taraba State.
According to the police spokesman, Frank Mba, the suspects were apprehended for their complicity and various criminal roles in the recent kidnapping incidents in Taraba.
These incidents include but are not limited to the kidnapping of serving personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service, kidnapping of a relative of the Emir of Jalingo, and the killing of a police sergeant in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital.
CP Mba further disclosed that the police team equally recovered seven AK-47 rifles, two Beretta pistols, 121 rounds of live ammunition of different calibre, four magazines, masks, illicit drugs, and other incriminating items during raids of various hideouts of the suspects in the state.
The arrest of the suspects follows the deployment of operatives of the Intelligence Response Team by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, to Taraba to complement the efforts of the state command in promptly containing the disturbing trend of kidnapping, armed robbery, and other violent crimes.
The suspects, Luka Adam, Shuaibu Nuhu, Moses Amos, Peters Mashi, Ahmadu Mallam, Adamu Mohammed, Dahiru Mallam Dalha, Gambo Isah, Sanusi Ahmadu, Mallam Mohammed Mauludu, Ibrahim Idi, all indigenes of Taraba State, were arrested by the police team from their various criminal hideouts.
Investigations reveal that the suspects, who have also been on the wanted list of the Taraba Police Command, are members of a notorious kidnap syndicate and have been evidentially linked to the recent upsurge in incidents of kidnapping in the state, including the deliberate and calculated attacks on security personnel.
Further probes show that two of the suspects, Gambo Isah and Sanusi Ahmadu masterminded the killing of a Sergeant and left a Police Inspector with gunshot injuries in their recent operation to enable them to escape arrest having abducted some victims in Jalingo recently.
According to Mr Mba, suspects operate by trailing individuals – business owners, Government Functionaries, motorists with flashy and exotic cars, etc – to their houses and thereafter planning and executing the kidnap of such persons.
They also collect huge sums of money as ransom from relatives and friends of their victims before their release.
In the course of investigations, the police are said to have equally identified and raided various criminal hideouts where kidnap victims are usually kept.
While cache of weapons and other incriminating items were recovered from the hideouts, all the kidnap victims held hostage at the various hideouts were carefully and successfully rescued unhurt and reunited with their families.
CP Mba noted that investigators are intensifying efforts at arresting other suspects currently at large.
He also disclosed that the IGP, while commending the good people of Taraba State for supporting the police especially in providing useful information that aided the prompt apprehension of the suspects, assured that the Force will continue to work with all stakeholders in deepening the collective safety of the Taraba people.
The IGP condoled the family of the late Sergeant Ogidi Habu and added that the Police will sustain efforts at improving public safety in all Nigerian communities.
The police spokesman disclosed that all the suspects will be charged to court on completion of investigations.