The Department of State Services (DSS) says it has apprehended members of kidnapping, gunrunning and armed banditry syndicates operating across the States of Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Benue.
The Department said on 13th March 2018, at Wukari town in Wukari LGA, Taraba State, Service tactical team apprehended a notorious gunrunner, Jonah ABBEY aka Jonah IDI alongside his driver, Agyo SAVIOUR aka Dan-Wase. ABBEY has been on the wanted list of the Service for the last ten (10) years over arms and ammunition trade.
A statement signed by Tony Opuiyo of Department of State Services on Sunday said recent intelligence indicated that ABBEY moved arms and ammunition from Konduga in Borno State into Taraba State through his driver, Saviour.
It said a similar operation by the Service tactical team led to the arrest of a high profile kidnap kingpin, Lawal Ibrahim (a.k.a Alhaji AWALU) at Angwan Rogo by Bauchi road, Jos North LGA of Plateau state alongside his cohorts namely Ado SALEH and Bayero ADAMU. It said the syndicate was responsible for the killing of a personnel of the Service in the State, Daanan BALGNAN, on 30th December, 2017 and was involved in other high profile kidnap incidents in Plateau and neighbouring States of Nasarawa, Kaduna and Bauchi.
The statement noted that following the arrest, One Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N1.5M) was recovered from the suspects. The money is part of the sum of two million Naira (N2M) ransom, which the syndicate collected from Ayuba GAMALE, a staff of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), whose two (2) abducted family members were released on 14th March, 2018. Other members of the syndicate are still being trailed by the Service.
It added that the arrest of these suspects is significant for two (2) different but related reasons. In the first case, the arrested kidnap kingpin, IBRAHIM, is adjudged the most dangerous in Plateau State, as he is known to be principally responsible for recent kidnap incidents in the State.
“This arrest would be a great plus in the fight against these criminal gangs. In the case of Jonah IDI, his arrest would greatly degrade and disrupt the booming illicit arms supply business, which up till now has sustained the crisis in Taraba, Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa States,” said the statement
The statement noted that around International market, off George Akume road, Makurdi, Benue State, Service operatives arrested a top commander of the Terwase AKWAZA (aka GHANA) led criminal gang identified as Sesugh AONDOSEER. Suspect is believed to have masterminded several kidnap and robbery operations in Katsina Ala-Ukum and Gboko-Makurdi axis of Benue State as well as Takum in Taraba State.