ABUJA, DECEMBER 30, 2016 – The Department of State Services (DSS) has pledged to sustain its offensive against kidnappers and terrorists in the country in a bid to ensure a safer Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Tony Opuiyo of the DSS on Friday in Abuja.
The Service said that as part of its ongoing tactical operations to degrade the capabilities of criminals, an offensive was launched against kidnappers, terrorists and other criminal elements.
It said that the offensive had led to the arrest of the trio of one Abubakar Musa, Ismail Musa and Suleiman Mainasara on Nov. 29 at Aduwawa in Benin city, Edo.
The statement said that prior to their arrest, they were members of a kidnap gang that terrorised commuters and residents of communities along the major highways between Edo and Kogi.
It said that on Nov. 30, one Ibrahim Adamu and three of his associates namely; Umar Abubakar, Ibrahim Salisu and Abdullahi Abubakar that specialised in the kidnap of people along the Edo-kogi corridor were also arrested at Ibilio village in Edo.
It further said that on Dec. 20 at Katsina-Ala town in Benue, another gang of suspected kidnappers comprising one Ernest Benze, Terkura Tyokishir alias Mpoto, and Anun Aondona identified as members of the Terwase Akwaza kidnap syndicate, were arrested for their complicity in kidnap incidents in the State.
“It would be recalled that the Terwase gang is known for its notoriety and credited with various dastardly and violent acts in the state,’’ it said.
The statement further revealed that one Usman Musa aka Keke, a notorious kidnap kingpin was intercepted by the Service on Dec. 15 at Sabuwar-Kaura village in Doguwa Local Government Area, Kano State.
“Musa is a high-profile criminal who, in conjunction with other criminal associates of his gang, has been terrorising residents and communities in Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano and Plateau States,’’ it said.
It said that in continuation of its fight against terrorism, on Nov. 30, three suspected Boko Haram fighters namely Samaila Muhammad, Sanusi Musa and Hudu Muhammad were arrested at Durbunde village of Takai Local Government Area of Kano State.
“The trio had perfected plans to carry out series of coordinated attacks with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in selected states of the North-West zone in the month of November, 2016 to disrupt festive activities during the end of year and the New Year of 2017,’’ it said.
It said that the operatives of this Service also arrested one Sani Digaru along with one Mohammed Ali, on Dec. 25 along Gombe-Dukku road, Gombe.
“Digaru was fatally shot when he attempted to escape from arrest. The arrest was sequel to earlier intelligence that he was in possession of cash worth two million Naira (N2m) meant for the coordination of a terrorist operation in Yobe and Bauchi States,’’ he said.
It noted that in the past few weeks, a new criminal gang which specialises in robbing visiting foreign residents/customers of luxury hotels had been uncovered in Abuja.
“For instance, on Dec. 5, the gang robbed an expatriate in a high brow hotel in Abuja and carted away his money and other valuables.
“However, acting on actionable intelligence and with the support and cooperation of sister agencies and the hotel management, the Service arrested one Ikechukwu Obadlegwu and Ikechukwu Eke,’’ it said.
It said that at Gwaron Dutse, Kano Municipal, Kano State, one Auwalu Yakasai, a notorious fraudster was apprehended for allegedly defrauding Jaiz and Unity Banks of N100 million and N50 million, respectively.
The Service pledged its commitment to the safety of all citizens including members of the international community while calling on the on the public to remain vigilant and report suspicious persons, parcels, and vehicles to the nearest security formations.
“The Service hereby reassures residents and indeed all Nigerians of a more peaceful new year as it (the Service) will leave no stone unturned in making sure that the year will be typified by stability which will, no doubt, define the country’s national security outlook in the coming year,’’ it said.