From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi State Police Command has arrested 24 persons suspected to be kidnappers, armed robbers and bandits.
Parading the suspects at the Command Headquarters in Lokoja over the weekend, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Busari, vowed that the police will not relent in its efforts to flush out criminals in all parts of the state.
He said that four persons – Adamu Hassan, Umar Salihu, Ibrahim Musa, Usman Abubakar and Muhammed Bello – suspected to be herdsmen were arrested on a tip-off by operatives of “Operation Puff Adder”.
Busari said that the police had received distress calls and other information that the suspects were behind series of kidnapping on Obajana-Kabba road.
He also told journalists that 10 suspects were arrested in connection with robbery incidents in Lokoja, Ogugu, Olamaboro, Ayangba and Dekina Local Government Areas.
He further disclosed that two pistols and one single-barrel gun were recovered from three of the suspects, whose name he gave as Aliyu Sule, Danjuma Isah and Musa Seidu.
According to the commissioner, four rifles, comprising one AK47, two pump-action and one single barrel gun and 30 rounds of live ammunitions and 12 cartridges were recovered from them.
He said that two other suspects, Friday Abah and Ogbaje Chukwuma, were held for robbing Mr Ojochenemi Baba and a filling station manager of their cars, cash and other valuables on March 11 at Olamaboro.
Busari said that a Toyota Camry with registration number Lagos EKY 473 DZ, one Sharon car, three handsets, a TV decoder, one flat screen television, one single-barrel gun and six live cartridges were found in their possession.
Also arrested for alleged armed robbery, he said, were Abdulkarim Sunday and Benjamin Stephen, who were caught at Ayangba on May 5, adding that one locally-made gun and a telephone were recovered from them.
He disclosed that two suspects, Danlami Mohammed and Abdulkadiri Ismail, were apprehended for motorcycle snatching, and Martin Igwe and Emeka Okeke for being in possession stolen vehicle parts.
Busari also stated that four other suspects – Alhaji Usman, Usman Arome, Ogwu Shaibu and Yakubu Stanlus – were arrested for attacking herdsmen passing through Ulara village in Dekina Local Government Area on March 18.
According to him, the fulani herdsmen stopped over in the village to break their fast when they were attacked by the armed youths.
He said that three herdsmen and 846 cows were still missing, adding that the villagers may have killed many of the cows.
The police boss said that a team of operatives of SARS Unit of the command that went to the village to assess the situation engaged in a gun duel with armed youths.
“In the process, the four suspects were arrested and one unknown corpse recovered, with a gun,” he said.
He promised to get to the root of the attack on the herdsmen and bring the culprits to book, adding that all the suspects would be charged to court