Abuja — The Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday announced that it had arrested suspected ISIS-Boko Haram terrorists who were plotting to attack the British and United States embassies in Abuja.
In a statement issued in Abuja, a DSS official, Tony Opuiyo, said the suspects initiated their plan from their base in Benue State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said: "Between 25th and 26th March, 2017, the service busted a ring of ISIS linked Boko Haram members based in Benue State and the FCT.
"The group had perfected plans to attack the UK and American embassies and other western interests in Abuja."
Opuiyo explained that during the operation to thwart this plan, five key suspects, namely: Isa Jubril, Jibril Jibril, Abu Omale Jibril, Halidu Sule and Amhodu Salifu, were arrested.
"Earlier, on 22nd March, 2017, at Fika, Yobe State, a 20-year-old Boko Haram member, Adamu Datti, was arrested. He confessed his involvement in executing the sinister activities of the group," Opuiyo added.
The DSS further revealed that two suspected Ansaru kingpins - Ahmed Momoh and Al-amin Mohammed Jamin - were arrested on 4th April, 2017 at Igarra, Akoko Edo LGA of Edo State.
"The duo were confirmed associates of Abu Uwais, a main Ansaru kingpin terrorising residents in Kogi and Edo States," it said.
"While these terrorists are already undergoing detailed investigations, the service stepped up efforts at stamping out the menace of kidnapping.
"In Rivers State for instance, Daniel Dibiamaka was arrested on 24th March, 2017 at Obio/Akpor LGA, for his complicity in the kidnap of one Emmanuel Orji Ukah on 20th January, 2017.
"On that same day, Godsgift Isioma was arrested for his plan to kidnap one Dr. G.N Douglas.
"Determined to decisively deal with the ugly menace of kidnapping and the increasing violence in Benue State, the service, on 23rd March, 2017 at Bangaji, Gboko, Benue State arrested Daniel Lorve, a member of the Terwase Akwaaza (aka Gana)-led notorious kidnapping and terrorist group.
"Further investigations in this regard prompted a joint military/police/service operation which resulted in the raid on a farm suspected to have housed the armoury of Akwaaza known for terrorising Katsina-Ala, Logo and Ukum LGAs of the state," the DSS further revealed.
It added that high calibre arms and ammunition were recovered from the scene, notably, one general purpose machine gun, three AK-47 rifles and one SMG rifle, with large quantities of ammunition.
In Kogi State, Opuiyo stated that the DSS on 29th March, 2017 arrested Abdulmojid Momoh and Ahmed Tijani Dodo at Adavi LGA for their involvement in kidnapping.
"In a similar vein, the duo of Salau Yakubu Ontinwa (aka General) and Abdulmajeed Musa were arrested on 30th March, 2017 at the same Adavi LGA for similar kidnapping crimes.
"Preliminary investigations showed that the trio are key members of the dreaded gang terrorising innocent citizens and other travellers across the state.
"Prior to these operations in the state, a gunrunner only identified as Kareem was arrested on 27th March, 2017 for supplying weapons to criminals, especially Abu Uwais, the Ansaru kingpin and notorious kidnapper.
"In furtherance of the service's efforts to check the possession of illegal arms, it arrested Chukwujioke Igbru at Ikwo, Ebonyi State in a joint military/DSS operation on 7th April, 2017.
"The suspect was alleged to be one of the masterminds of the clashes between his Ojenakpa community and neighbouring Isobo community in Obubra LGA of Cross River State. He was arrested in possession of a G3 rifle.
"In Abia State, one Freeborn Chisom Innocent from Ikeduru, Imo State was arrested at Nzaocha Street, Aba, for engaging in subversive activities against public servants.
"Innocent who is an ICT expert used the social media, especially blogs to launch negative campaigns against the persons and offices of top government officials by telling lies against them and making them appear weak and incapable of holding their posts.
"He also used his platform to incite one ethnic group to violently attack another, thus creating tension and social disharmony," the DSS revealed.
It added that it also uncovered a racketeering network involved in the issuance of certificates and letters of indigeneship to persons from neighbouring African countries.
Opuiyo added that "the Boko Haram terror group has become part of this network and uses it to boost its membership in Nigeria".
"A particular case was the arrest on 10th April at Damaturu, Yobe State of Jalo, a Jos resident of Guinean origin and Boko Haram suspect.
"It is also discovered that these non-Nigerians use their new indigene status to seek privileges including admissions into the country's tertiary institutions.
"In order to check this ugly development, state and local authorities are advised to be more circumspect about the issuance of these certificates and letters of indigeneship.
"While they are enjoined to always liaise with the appropriate government organs, especially the Immigration Service to checkmate this trend, the service is continuing with its investigations to fish out other members of this criminal network.
"The public is also encouraged to report any suspicion in this direction.
"The service is equally aware of the efforts being made by some individuals to create a deep sense of insecurity in some parts of the country simply for their own selfish interest.
"To this end, the service wishes to reiterate its commitment to ensuring that peace prevails across the country and warns that it will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law against defaulters, no matter how highly placed," it said.
On the continued detention of the former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam, Opuiyo stated that "the case of the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, is typical".
"The service has continued to hold him in line with the dictates of the law - more so as he has not cooperated on the issues concerning the recovery of a large cache of arms at his facilities.
"While investigation is ongoing on this matter, the service has valid detention warrants to keep him. He will be charged accordingly, once the investigations are concluded," it said.