By Abiodun OBA
Taraba Police Command paraded arrested 20 alleged kidnappers who have collected at least N30 million as ransom from families of their victims in various parts of the state.
The Command spokesperson, Abdullahi Usman, during the parade in Jalingo, the state capital on Saturday, disclosed that three AK-47 rifles and a fabricated pump action gun were also recovered in the course of the arrest of the suspects.
Usman said the kidnappers, who have all confessed to the crimes were arrested following intelligence gathering and public outcry on the nefarious activities of criminal elements which mandated the command to launch a serious manhunt on the criminals hibernating in some identified hot spots within the state.
The spokesperson said the suspects have collected over 30 million naira as ransom from their victims’ families.
“The Special Anti-Kidnapping Unit and Special Striking Force attached to the Government House have organized constant raids on the hideouts of these hoodlums to have a crime-free society where law-abiding citizens would be allowed to go about their lawful business without fear of being molested or intimidated by any quarter,” he said.
Narrating how the suspects were arrested, the Taraba Police Command spokesperson said operatives acting on credible intelligence arrested one Sanusi Ibrahim and his accomplices John Baba and Hassan Yusuf in Sabon-Gida Akwe village of Kurmi local council, who were among the kidnapping gang terrorizing the area.
He revealed that the suspects criminally conspired and invaded the house of one Mafure Hassan of Sabon-Gida village, kidnapped two of his relations, Usman Hassan and Habiba Mafure, where a ransom of two million one hundred thousand (2.1M) was demanded by the kidnappers.
“During interrogation, suspects confessed to having committed the crime along with one Hassan Yusuf now at large as the police say effort is on, with the view to arresting the fleeing suspect.
“The Special Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the command arrested two suspected kidnappers in Donga Local Government Area and recovered one AK-47 rifle and two live ammunitions.
“The suspects confessed that they belong to a gang of armed robbers/kidnappers terrorizing Donga, Bali, and Takum Local Government Area axis.
“On 26/08/2023 at about 2300hrs, on a tipoff, the command through consolidated efforts of the men of the Anti-kidnapping Unit arrested four persons in Kurmi LGA for invading the house of one Hussein I Mohammed of the same address and kidnapped his son to an unknown destination demanding a ransom of Six million naira.
“During the process of delivering the ransom to the kidnappers by the relations of the victim, the Anti-kidnapping team was intimated, they swiftly responded and engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel and succeeded in arresting the suspects, while others escaped with various degrees of injuries as a result of the gunshot and the victim was rescued unhurt and reunited with his family.
“On 2/09/2023 at about 0100hrs gunmen invaded the house of one Theophilus Abeh of Gindin Doruwa Wukari LGA and Kidnapped his daughter named Unity Tanko and demanded a ransom of one Million naira which was paid before securing her release.’’
“Acting on intelligence, the Anti-kidnapping team of the Command swung into action and deployed operatives to the area and arrested one Mohammed Saleh of Goroho village in Wukari LGA Taraba State.”
“On 10/09/2023 at about 10:00hrs, credible information was received from reliable sources, some strange faces were sighted and suspected to be kidnappers at their hideout along Gatan Feeder road Kurmi LGA Taraba State, on receipt of the information, the Command deployed team of operatives to storm the area, on sighting Police officers, the hoodlums quickly engaged the operatives, but due to superior firepower of the Police, they were subdued and four of them arrested with One AK-47 riffle and an empty magazine was recovered in their possession.
“Operatives of the Anti-kidnapping team in collaboration with the Vigilante group of Ibi LGA, successfully arrested one Ibrahim Abdullahi of Gishirin Hassan Village in Ibi LGA, when interrogated, the suspect confessed to having been among the gang of kidnappers terrorizing Ibi and Wukari areas together with his cohorts now at large.
“During the investigation, one Karau Mohammed of the same Village was arrested in connection to the crime.”
He further revealed that on 19/09/2023 at about 11:30hrs, a tip off team of operatives attached to the State Intelligent Bureau (SIB) arrested three suspected kidnappers and an informant.
“The group are said to be terrorizing the Mayo-Dassa community of Jalingo, and revealed to the Police that they were involved in many kidnappings that took place within Jalingo and environs”.
The Police spokesperson assured that the Command under the stewardship of CP Yusuf Suleiman is committed to deploying both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches in tackling crime and criminality towards boosting public safety and security in the State.
He also quoted the commissioner as enjoining the citizens of Taraba State to be law-abiding and also cooperate with the Police and other security agencies to enable them to discharge their constitutional mandate.
“Furthermore, the Commissioner of Police assures Taraba residents that the Command remains resolute in sustaining robust patrol within the metropolis and beyond, as he advised members of the public to be security conscious and report to the Police any person(s) with suspected character.”
He, however, assured that all the suspects will be charged to court for prosecution and will face the full wrath of the law.