Nigeria: Police Arrest Suspected Kidnappers of Baptist School Students - Official

23 September 2021

Bandits on 5 July invaded Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna and kidnapped over 100 students.

The Nigerian Police Force said its men have arrested three out of the 25 suspected members of a gang that kidnapped students of Bethel Baptist High School, Maraban Damishi, Kujama in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Police spokesman, Frank Mba, made this known in a statement obtained by PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr Mba said the three were among the 50 suspects arrested for various offences.

He listed their names as Ishaku Lawal, Muazu Abubakar and Adam Bello.

Mr Mba said the suspects were arrested by operatives of the Special Tactical Squad (STS).

"Investigations by the Police team revealed how Muazu Abubakar a.k.a Datti 'm' 27years, the principal suspect, carried out surveillance of the Bethel school and strategized with his other gang members before they attacked and abducted the students," Mr Mba said.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the bandits in the early hours of 5 July, invaded the school and kidnapped 121 students of the school, but have been releasing the students in batches.

The abduction of the students was the fourth mass abduction in Kaduna schools in the last few months of deteriorating insecurity in North-west and North-central states.

Reports say the parents of the abducted children have had to pay humongous amounts of ransom for their release though no one has confirmed this.

Mr Mba, in his statement on Thursday in Abuja, said the arrested suspects had narrated how they operated and are responsible for several highway robberies within that axis.

The police also said it recovered rifles and ammunition from them.

Read full statement by the police:

PRESS RELEASE

3 SUSPECTS IN POLICE NET FOR BETHEL SCHOOL ABDUCTION

· As Police Arrest 50 Notorious Criminal Suspects, recover 27 Assorted Rifles, 2,720 Ammunition, Others

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc has charged Police Operatives across the country to sustain the tempo in the ongoing operationalization of Operation Restore Peace in the country. The IGP, who noted that the special operation is remarkably assisting in rolling back the negative trend of crimes in the country, commended Police operatives for the recent arrest of fifty (50) notorious criminal suspects for their involvement in different crimes including kidnapping, banditry, unlawful possession of firearms, trading in illicit drugs, amongst others. Twenty-six (26) sophisticated firearms including 13 AK47 rifles, 4 SMGs, 4 locally made revolver rifles and 2720 ammunition of different calibre are some of the exhibits recovered from the suspects.

Notable among the cases is the arrest of three (3) of the key suspects involved in the abduction of students of Bethel Baptist High School, Maraban Damishi, Kaduna, by operatives of the Special Tactical Squad (STS). The suspects are Ishaku Lawal, Muazu Abubakar and Adam Bello. Investigations by the Police team revealed how Muazu Abubakar a.k.a Datti 'm' 27years, the principal suspect, carried out surveillance of the Bethel school and strategized with his other gang members before they attacked and abducted the students. Ishaku Lawal who was also arrested in connection with the incident, revealed how Ahmadu a.k.a Yellow provided the firearms and ammunition they used for the operation. One AK47 rifle was recovered from each of the suspects. Investigations into the case are still ongoing.

Also arrested, is a prolific highway robbery syndicate that has been linked to about fifty (50) armed robberies along major highways in the South-West region of the country. The leader of the gang, one Mohammed Mode a.k.a Basullube from Gugu in Kwara State, revealed to the Police team how he masterminded and led other gang members, Abdullahi Mohammed from Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Musa Adamu from Otte Vilage, Kwara State and Abdullahi Ali from Orita Gambari in Oyo State, all within age bracket of 21 - 27 years, to carry out the series of highway robberies before their eventual arrest.

Similarly, Police investigations into the recent spate of break-ins and theft in places of worship in the Federal Capital Territory and other contiguous States to the FCT, led to the arrest of three (3) members of a gang that specialized in theft of musical instruments from churches. The suspects revealed to the Police team how they broke into over fifty (50) churches. The suspects include one Monday Akawu 'm' 39yrs who impersonates personnel of the Nigerian Army to enable the gang move the stolen items to their intended criminal receivers and Joseph Orazulike 'm' 35yrs who is a receiver of the stolen items. Over thirty (30) specialized musical equipment and other electronic gadgets stolen from different churches were recovered from the suspects.

The IGP, while appreciating citizens for their support, which no doubt has ensured the successes recorded in the fight against crimes and criminality in the country, reiterated that the Force will intensify efforts toward improving public safety and security in the country.

All the suspects will be charged to court on completion of investigations.

CP FRANK MBA

FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

FORCE HEADQUARTERS

ABUJA

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