FOLLOWING the increase in kidnapping in Kogi State, the Department of State Services’ Command intensified efforts towards eliminating the threat. This is contained in a press release by Joseph I. Okpo, State Director of Security, Department of State Services, Kogi State Command, Lokoja.
According to Okpo, this resulted in the arrest of ten (10) kidnap suspects within the last six (6) weeks. The public may note that recently, at Koton-Karfe, Kogi LGA, along the Abuja-Lokoja highway, a gang of robbers/kidnappers in military combat uniform was arrested. Those arrested are:- Haruna SALEH (aka AUTA) – Leader; Kabiru SHAIBU; Abdulmuminu ADAMU; and Tukur SHUIABU.
He further stated that an on-the-spot search conducted on the suspects and their vehicle showed that they were in possession of the following items which were also recovered from them: Three (3) pairs of Army Camouflage uniforms; One locally made pistol; One locally made long barrel gun; Seven Pump Action cartridges; A cutlass; A knife; Fourteen (14) handsets; A set of plate number (AG 556 BNG); Three (3) touch lights; One green coloured Gulf3 vehicle with registration number KWL 946 FB; and The sum of forty-six thousand, six hundred and seventy-five naira (N46,675).
He also noted that during investigation, the gang availed information to the existence of three (3) unrecovered AK 47 and other weapons kept in a yet to identified location.
Efforts are intensified for the recovery of these weapons. They have also disclosed the source of the military uniforms used during operations. This is already being investigated by appropriate security organizations in liaison with the Service.
Intelligence further revealed that the group has links with other kidnap syndicates operating in FCT, Kaduna, Katsina and Niger States. The gang admitted carrying out six (6) different robbery/kidnap operations along the Minna-Kontagora road, Niger State; Malumfashi, Mararaba-Jos and Jaji-Zaria roads in Kaduna State.
From this disclosure, he further stated that it is pertinent to note that some of the perpetrators of crime, especially robbery and kidnapping in Kogi State include outsiders who use the State to further their nefarious acts due to its geographical / topographical peculiarities. “The Service is committed to the diligent prosecution of these suspects”, he added.
Okpo also stressed that it is in respect of this that the Command will continue to collaborate with other security agencies and stakeholders to stamp out all forms of criminality in the State and its environs. The Command he also noted has therefore warned all criminal elements to steer clear of the State as the Service and indeed other security agencies have taken advantage of the renewed zeal of the State government’s support and partnership in ensuring law and order within and across the State.