In a series of successful operations executed by the troops of Operation Safe Haven (OpSH) on Operation Hakorin Damisa IV, 91 criminal suspects were arrested and arms and ammunition retrieved in Plateau and southern Kaduna states. The operation, which took place between September 25 and October 4, 2023, also resulted in the rescue of kidnapped victims and a subsequent conviction of perpetrators
According to the Media Information Officer of OpSH, Captain James Oya, the arrested suspects were connected to various criminal activities such as kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, and cattle rustling
His words “The notorious kidnappers; Bashiru Musa and Idris Abdulrahman who have been on wanted list of OPSH were arrested at Mista Ali village in Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State. The suspects during interrogation narrated that they were involved in the kidnapping of seven students of University of Jos in July 2023. Items recovered from the suspects include one AK 47 rifle loaded with 12 rounds of 7.62mm special.
“The troops acting on credible information also arrested Mr Goma Abubakar and Jibril Abass in connection to the attack on Takania village in Zango Kataf LGA of Kaduna State where six persons were murdered in cold blood.
The troops also arrested two notorious armed robbers/kidnappers, Nasiru Ahmed and Isah Mamuda at Kok village in Barkin Ladi LGA while Manu Sale and Amir Shaba a notorious robbery syndicates operating along road Barkin Ladi – Mangu in Barkin LGA were also arrested alongside an armed robbery gang leader, Mr Shaibu Abubakar at NTV village in Barkin Ladi LGA.
“Similarly, troops arrested two suspected kidnappers Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Yakubu a.k.a Yellow at Amper checkpoint in Kanam LGA of Plateau State while trying to collect kidnap ransom. Items recovered from the suspects include 1 cutlass, knife, 2 mobile phones and local charms.”
He added that, “While on mobile operations, troops at Bokkos LGA arrested two suspected cattle rustlers Abdullahi Ibrahim and Muhammadu Ori at Gwandu village in Bokkos LGA. The troops also foiled a cattle rustling incident at Maiyanga village in Bassa LGA and rescued 145 cows and handed over to the owners. During the operation, troops recovered 3 rifles, 12 rounds of 7.62mm special, 9 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition and 3 axes.
“Additionally, 57 cows were detained for grazing on farmlands at Rim village in Riyom LGA. Furthermore, troops thwarted an attempt to kidnap one Hon Magai Peter in his residence at Ruku village in Barkin Ladi LGA and another victim at Jeisey village. Troops’ superior fire power during encounter with the kidnappers forced them to abandon their mission and flee. Items recovered included 2 Bajaj Boxers motorcycles.
“Troops also rescued two kidnapped victims, Miss Silva Hassan and Salvation Obadiah at Zangang Hill, Kaura village in Kaduna State. Also, seven farmers were rescued at Jipun village, Pushit district of Mangu LGA from suspected militias while harvesting crops in their farms. However, one prime suspect, Ibrahim Isah was arrested in connection with the incident.
“While at Nimba forest in Riyom LGA, one Bukar Kaigama was rescued from kidnappers by the troops. Troops also intercepted a truck carrying 720 bags of Urea fertilizer with fake clearance documents. Four occupants of the truck were arrested and are currently undergoing interrogation. Troops also arrested a suspected cultist, Mafeng Gwott at Legislative quarters in Jos North LGA and recovered a pistol loaded with 9mm special ammunition.”
Oya further stated that, “Troops also rescued a motorcycle snatcher from mobs at Gyero junction in Jos South LGA and handed him over to the Nigeria Police Bukuru Division for further action. OPSH troops equally arrested two herders in connection with willful destruction of farmland at Gyero general area whilst rescuing a herder, Sani Mahmuda who was earlier declared missing at Kwanga village in Jos East.
“Based on a tip off, troops conducted cordon and search operations in a criminal hideout at Zango Urban area of Unguwan Fulani Baya Dutse in Zango Kataf LGA of Kaduna State. Items recovered included one AK-47 rifle, 4 pistols, 4 motorcycles, cache of ammunition and one AK – 47 magazine.”
On the conviction of the suspects and other issues, he explained, “OPSH also secured the conviction of four suspects; Kabiru Lawal, Sadiq Mohammed Dahiru, Umar Yusuf and Dauda Elkanah for criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving of stolen property. Suspects were sentenced to one year, six months imprisonment each with an option of fine. Also, troops arrested a suspect with cannabis sativa at Miango in Bassa LGA of Plateau State.
“Additionally, 67 persons were arrested in connection to violent activities around Bolari village and seven locally fabricated rifles were recovered. Troops further recovered three mobile phones and other valuables items from suspected bandits at Garin Dogo village who fled with gunshot wounds on contact with troops.
“In all, a total of 91 arrests were effected, seven suspected kidnappers, six suspected armed robbers, two cattle rustlers arrested while four victims were rescued from kidnappers and five attacks on vulnerable communities deterred and two kidnap attempts thwarted. Troops also responded promptly to a total of 24 distress calls.
The Commander of OpSH, Major General AE Abubakar, expressed gratitude to the public for their cooperation and urged them to continue providing actionable information to assist ongoing operations.
He assured the public that the arrested suspects would face the full extent of law upon completion of the investigations. He affirmed the commitment of the troops towards protecting lives and property.