Abuja — Fifty crime suspects including three kidnappers of the 120 students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, were paraded by police in Abuja.
One of the suspects said 50 kidnappers on motorcycles were involved in the abduction of the students.
Among the suspects paraded were members of a criminal syndicate that robbed more than 50 churches within Nyanya and Karu axis of the Federal Capital Territory.
The gang specialised in theft of musical instrument from churches.
Parading the suspects in Abuja, Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, said the three key suspects involved in the abduction of students of Bethel Baptist High School, Maraban Damishi, Kaduna, were arrested by operatives of the Special Tactical Squad (STS).
Also, recovered from the suspects were 26 sophisticated firearms, including 13 AK47 rifles, four SMGs, four locally made revolver rifles and 2,720 ammunition of different calibre.
He said the suspects were involved in different crimes including kidnapping, banditry, unlawful possession of firearms and trading in illicit drugs, amongst others.
"Notable among the cases is the arrest of three 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' 27 years, the principal suspect, carried out surveillance of the Bethel school and strategised 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. Investigation into the case is still ongoing," he said.
Mba said police investigations into the recent spate of break-ins and theft in places of worship in the Federal Capital Territory and other contiguous states led to the arrest of three members of a gang that specialised in theft of musical instruments from churches.
"The suspects revealed to the police team how they broke into over 50 churches. The suspects include one Monday Akawu 'm' 39, 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 30 specialised musical equipment and other electronic gadgets stolen from different churches were recovered from the suspects", he said.
Following the arrests, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Usman Baba, charged police operatives across the country to sustain the tempo in the ongoing Operation Restore Peace in the country.
The IG, who noted that the special operation was assisting in rolling back the negative trend of crimes in the country, commended police operatives for the recent arrest of 50 notorious criminal suspects for their involvement in different crimes including kidnapping, banditry, unlawful possession of firearms and trading in illicit drugs, amongst others.
The IG, while appreciating citizens for their support, assured them that with the successes recorded in the fight against crimes and criminality in the country, the force would intensify efforts towards improving public safety and security in the country.
All the suspects would be charged to court on completion of investigations, he said.