Abuja — The Department of State Services (DSS) said it has arrested some suspects who engage in gunrunning, kidnapping and armed banditry operating in Plateau, Nasarawa, Taraba and Benue states.
This comes as the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris's order for vigilance groups in the southeast to turn in their weapons, continues to stir controversy, with the Ohaneze kicking against it.
The DSS said the service within the last 10 days have been on the trail of these suspects before they were finally apprehended at different locations across the federation.
A statement signed by DSS spokesman, Tony Opuiyo in Abuja, yesterday, said on March 13, 2018, at about 1220 hours, at Wukari town in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State, the service team apprehended a notorious gunrunner, Jonah Abbey, otherwise known as Jonah Idi alongside his driver Agyo Saviour, otherwise known as Dan-Wase.
Opuiyo said Abbey, who has been on the wanted list of the service for more than 10 years over arms and ammunition trade in Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Rivers, Imo, Anambra, Plateau, Nasarawa and Benue/Taraba axis, including the notorious criminal syndicates led by Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana in Benue State.
According to him, "recent intelligence indicated that Abbey moved arms and ammunition from Konduga in Borno State into Taraba State through his driver Saviour and the subject has entrenched his criminal activities in different parts of the country."
The spokesman noted that the suspect has clients especially in Plateau, Ebonyi, Cross River, Enugu and Bayelsa states among others, adding that indications are that he sources arms from the Republic of Cameroun and parts of the North East of Nigeria.
In a similar operation, Opuiyo added that the service team on March 15, 2018 at about 0500 hours at Chiwarna Hotel, Angwan Rogo by Bauchi road, Jos north Local Government Area arrested a high profile kidnap kingpin, Lawal Ibrahim, otherwise known as Alhaji Awalu.
He said the suspect was arrested alongside his cohorts namely Ado Saleh and Bayero Adamu, stressing that the syndicate were responsible for the killing of a personnel of the service in the state, Daanan Balgnan on December 30, 2017. He said he was also involved in other high profile kidnap incidents in Plateau and neighbouring states of Nasarawa, Kaduna and Bauchi.
Also, on March 7, 2018, about 0023 hours, around international market off George Akume road, Makurdi, Benue State, service operatives arrested a top commander of the Terwase Akwaza otherwise known as Ghana led criminal gang identified as Sesugh Aondoseer and the 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.
He added that the service intervention efforts in the South East paid off with the arrest of two suspected kidnappers Nnaemeka Udoukwu and Nkem Nnonyelu at Ifite village, Awka, Anambra State on the March 16, 2018.