The Police said Operation Puff Adder has nabbed its biggest catches since its launched the operation with the arrest of Malam Salisu Abubakar, said to be the spiritual godfather of kidnappers and another man who claimed to have masterminded the killing of King Agom Adara in Kaduna state.
The king who was returning from Kaduna in October last year, after a meeting with Governor Nasir El-Rufai, was ambushed and killed, even after ransom was paid.
Police said 17 other notorious kidnappers and armed robbers were arrested at different times and places across the country.
In a statement by Force PRO, DCP Frank Mba, police also said they impounded from the bandits 22 AK 47 rifles, five locally fabricated pistols and a cache of live ammunition.
According to Mba: “The combined team of crack detectives from IRT, TIU and other Operatives, using actionable intelligence obtained from the Spiritual godfather of the kidnappers and other multiple sources, tactically “smoked out” the kidnappers and armed bandits from their hide-outs in Birnin Gwari, Rijana, Katari, Mai Daro and Buruku Forests in Kaduna State before they were eventually arrested at different locations and times in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and Kogi states respectively”.
Mba said the suspects have positively been linked with some of the most heinous crimes committed in Kaduna States and its environs in recent times.
“Specifically for example, Abubakar Ibrahim alias Dan Habu, aged 37 years and a native of Kabam in Igabi local Government Area of Kaduna state, who was arrested on the 15th April 2019 at Rigachikun in Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, confessed to the Kidnapping and gruesome murder of HRH King Agom Adara of Kajuru LGA and many other kidnappings and murders.
“Similarly, the arrested gang members were also indicted by investigations for the kidnap and murder of Mallam Yakubu Usman, 40 years old male of Jere LGA, Kaduna State and many other crimes.
“All the eighteen male suspects listed below are currently in Police custody, assisting in the on-going investigations.
“They are: Abubakar Ibrahim Alias Dan Habu, 37 years native of Igabi local Government Area of Kaduna State; Johnson Okafor 44 years, native of Anambra State and resident of Suleja Local Government Area of Niger State; Shaibu Iliyasu Alias Smally, 20 years native of Rijiana Kaduna Road Abuja; Ishaik Dabo Alias Keke 38 years native of Maraban Jos Igabi LGA of Kaduna State; Mohammed Nasiru 25 year native of Manunfashi LGA of Katsina State; Aminu Haruna 25 years native of Galadimawa Village in Giwa LGA of Kaduna State; Shafiu Alhaji Gudau 25 years native of Sabuwa LGA of Katsina State; Auwalu Hamisu 24 years native of Tashan Fulani village in Manunfashi LGA of Katsina State; Ado Ya’u, 35 years native Of Rigoji Village in Kafur LGA of Katsina State; Ibrahim Yusuf, 30yrs native of Kujama Village Kaduna State; Ibrahim Audu, 22yrs native of Kujama Village Kaduna State; Salisu Ajah, 50yrs native of Galadimawa Village Giwa LGA Kaduna State; Nasiru Umaru, 25yrs native of Manumfashi LGA Katsina State; Magaji Abubakar, 27yrs native of Kujama Village Kaduna State; Salisu Ali, 18yrs native of Kujama Village Kaduna State; Lawal Shadari, 22yrs native of Rijiana Village Kaduna State; Junaidu Lawal, 18yrs native of Rijiana Village Kaduna State and Usman Musa, 43yrs native of Rijiana Village Kaduna State.
“Although, the suspects belong to different fairly independent but vicious criminal gangs, their operations are centrally coordinated by their spiritual godfather Mallam Salisu Abubakar.
“Efforts are currently being intensified to arrest other gang members still at large, and recover all weapons in the gangs’ armoury”.