Police arrest dealers in prohibited firearms, ammunition in Benue, Taraba states

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The Nigeria Police on Tuesday revealed that the Force made major breakthrough in arrest of a gang of notorious dealers in prohibited firearms and ammunition in Benue and Taraba states.

The Forcer Headquarters, accordingly, carried out the parade of vicious and notorious suspects responsible for selling and supplying AK47 rifles and other firearms and ammunition to armed bandits, militias, and criminal herdsmen/farmers in Benue and Taraba states.

The Force also carried out the parade of suspected kidnappers terrorizing Benue and its environs by the Force Public Relations Officers at the Benue State Police Command, headquarters on Tuesday, 8th May, 2018.

ACP Jimoh Moshood, Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, in a statement on Tuesday highlighted that suspects in the First Case: Illegal firearms dealers include: Morris Ashwe 36 years, Native of Mbajima Village, Katsina Ala Local Government Area, Benue State, working for Terwase Akwaza, aka Ghana. The Police stated that items recovered from him include five AK47 Rifles; 238 rounds of AK47 ammunition; 40 Smoke Grenade Canisters; 79 LAR Rifle Ammunition.

In the second case: Illegal Firearms dealers: Kabiru Idris, 43 years – Principal Suspect – arrested in Takum Town, Taraba State; Miracle Emmanuel – Principal Suspect and gang leader, 27 years, native of Anambra State; Husseini Safiyanu, native of Taraba State – Principal Suspect.

Items recovered from them include five AK47 rifles, 13 AK47 magazines, 83 rounds of AK47 ammunition.

In the third Case – Kidnappers/armed robbers:  Emmanuel Ushehemba Kwembe, 28 yearsk, native of Ushongo Local Government Area, Benue State;  Sekad Uver, 28 years, native of Koshisha Local Government Area, Benue State; Ordure Fada, 22 years, native of Kwande LGA, Benue State; Stephen Jirgba, 18 years, native of Vande kya LGA, Benue State; Peter Lorham, 24 years, native of Kinshisha LGA, Benue State;

Achir Gabriel, 30 years, native of Ushongo LGA, Benue State; Lorhemen Akwambe, 35 years, native of Guma LGA, Benue State.

ACP Jimoh Moshood indicated that verifiable Exhibits include: Two Beretta Pistols.

The remarked that the renewed strategies adopted by the Nigeria Police Force to stop the incessant killings of innocent Nigerians and curtail the proliferation of firearms across the country, most especially, in the North Central States have been yielding positive results. “The IGP Intelligence Response Team and the Police Special Forces mandated by the IGP to work with Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba State Commands, in the last two weeks arrested the 11 suspects mentioned above within Benue and Taraba States and recovered from them were 10 AK47 Rifles and other assorted firearms and ammunition,” Jimoh declared.

He highlighted further: “In the first two cases, the suspects confessed to have been responsible for supply of AK47 rifles and other firearms and ammunition to armed bandits, militias, and criminal herdsmen/farmers in Benue and Taraba States.

 “The first suspect, Morris Ashwe 36 years, native of Mbajima Village, Katsina Ala LGA, Benue State, confessed and admitted to have been supplying firearms and ammunition to the notorious and most wanted vicious and notorious gang leader of militia, murderers and kidnappers, Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana, who was declared wanted by the Nigeria Police Force for the merciless killings of several innocent persons and wanton destruction of properties worth millions of Naira, at Zaki Biam in Benue State on 20th March, 2017 and for other violent crimes such as Culpable Homicide, Mischief by Fire and Criminal Conspiracy and the killing of Mr. Deneen Igbana, late Special Adviser on Security to the Governor of Benue State.

 “In the second case, all the three suspects namely, Kabiru Idris, Miracle Emmanuel and Husseini Safiyanu were arrested in Taraba State and in their possession were five AK47 rifles, 13 AK47 Magazines, 83 Rounds of AK47 Ammunition, which were recovered.”

He remarked that they confessed to have been supplying AK47 rifles and other firearms and ammunition to Militia groups, armed bandits and other criminals in Taraba and Benue States who they admitted have been attacking and killing innocent people in villages in Taraba and Benue States.

 “The third case involving seven suspected kidnappers. These suspected kidnappers were arrested in the act of movement to kidnap a prominent person in Makurdi, Benue State. The arrest was made possible from intelligence gathered by the IGP Intelligence Response Team. Two Beretta Pistols were recovered from them. They confessed to have been responsible for several kidnappings in Benue, Taraba and Some part of Nasarawa State in the recent past.

He stated that    investigation is being strengthened to arrest other suspects at large, adding all suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.

Jimoh stated that   The deployment of additional 15 Police Mobile Force units to augment the strength of the Benue State Police Command has beefed-up security in the state and helping in sustaining the peace that have been restored to the state.

 “The Force hereby wishes to assure the people of Benue and other contiguous state of its commitment to sustain the peace that has been restored in those states,” Jimoh declared.

Meanwhile, there are suspicions that the Police may not have carried out balanced operations in restoring peace in Benue and Taraba states. Stakeholders in the affected states were disclosed that they have been struggling to control their consternation that no Fulani herdsman was arrested by the Police in the list being displayed.  They complained that the Fulani herdsmen have been killing the indigenes, saying that Benue and Taraba indigenes have suffered more casualties from the herdsmen killings.

The Police force Public relations Officer could not be reached at the time of this report to respond to the complaints of police bias in the security operations.

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