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.