…kidnapped victims/ rustled animals rescued.
…cache of arms/ammunition recovered
By Victor Akaa, Abuja.
The Defence Headquarters says, Troops of Operation Sahel Sanity have neutralised and arrested some armed bandits, their collaborators, recovered millions of naira including rustled cattle, cache of arms and a police ID card, among others items during its various operations in the North West part of the country.
This is in the quest to rout bandits and all criminal elements in the North West zone of the country.
Brig. Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, Acting Director, Defence Media Operation, DHQ in a statement relayed to Enugu Reporters said, the gallant troops if Operation Sahel Sanity have recorded more successes against the bandits and other criminal elements in the within its theatre of operation in the North West zone.
“On 30 August 2020, following credible information on bandits’ movement with 40 cattle rustled at Kwanar Maje area, the gallant troops quickly moved in and intercepted the bandits along Anka – Gummi road.
“However, on sighting the advancing troops from afar, the criminals abandoned the cattle and fled into the forest.
“All the rustled cattle were successfully recovered and handed back to the rightful owners.”
Troops also on 31 August 2020,foiled a cattle rustling invasion by the suspected rustlers in Zango village, in Jibia LGA in Katsina state, recovered several cattle after they fled into the forest on sighting the troops.
The recovered animals were returned to the rightful owners.
The statement also added, on 1 September 2020, troops deployed at Faskari in Katsina State on routine patrol came in contact with some bandits in company of 2 women suspected to have been kidnapped.
“While troops closed in on the suspects, the bandits fled into a rocky area.
“Nevertheless, the resilient troops mounted a hot pursuit forcing them to abandon the 2 kidnapped women.
“The victims were safely rescued and reunited with their families.”
Speaking further, Gen. Onyeuko said, troops through a reliable information on 2 September 2020, swiftly tracked bandits after engaging in a fierce fight rescued the kidnapped victims as well as a motorcycle after they (bandits) abandoned them and fled into the Bush.
“Relatedly, on 2 September 2020, resulting from the intensity of Operation Sahel Sanity, a bandit leader name Sada willingly surrendered to troops at Forward Operation Base Dansadau and submitted 3 AK 47 rifles, one Sub Machine Gun and 2 Magazines.
“He is however being profiled for further necessary action by the Civil authority.”
The DMO Acting Director also said, troops on 6 September 2020, while conducting stop and search along Bingi road, arrested a suspected bandit name Isah Shehu with a camouflage uniform concealed in a bag.
“Information from his phone reveals that the suspect is a notorious bandit addressed as “Commander” by members of his group. He is currently in custody providing troops with vital information.”
“Troops similarly acting on reliable intelligence arrested one Abubakar Ibrahim, who is suspected to be an informant working for a wanted notorious bandit leader named Ado Alieru.
“The suspect admitted during interrogation that Mr Alieru bought him a motorbike which he uses in carrying out assignments for him.”
Onyeuko further noted, on 6 September 2020, troops on patrol responded to a distress call over a kidnap activity at an estate along Dandume road as they quickly mobilized to the area, however, the suspects who were believed to have been hinted through their informants abandoned 9 kidnapped victims and fled the area before the troops arrival.
Troops also on patrol arrested one Ibrahim Sule at Koha village under Batsari LGA of Katsina State.
He said, the suspect was identified by locals to be a member of a syndicate terrorizing the general area and is currently undergoing interrogation in custody.
“Also, on 7 September 2020, troops at Forward Operation Base Kekuwuje while on routine patrol arrested 2 suspected bandits. The arrest was made following credible intelligence that the suspects are members of a bandit group terrorizing the area.
“Items recovered from them include the sum of One Million Five Hundred and Sixty-Five Thousand Five Hundred and Fifty Naira (N1,565,550.00) suspected to be acquired from one of their criminal activities, one Motorcycle, 2 mobile phones and cloths concealed in a bag.
“The Suspects confessed during interogation to be involved in selling rustled cattle for bandits.
“In another development, on 8 September 2020, troops deployed at Daki Takwas intercepted and arrested 17 armed Yansakai members on 7 motorcycles at Danmarke village in Bukkuyum LGA of Zamfara State. Preliminary investigation revealed that suspects are from Maga in Kebbi State.
“Items recovered from them include 12 locally fabricated Dane guns, 7 motorcycles and assorted charms.
“Suspects are in custody undergoing further interrogations. Relatedly, on 9 September 2020, troops on patrol rescued 14 persons kidnapped by suspected bandits along Dutsinma-Yantumaki road.
“The victims who were travelling along the route in a commercial vehicle ran into the bandits who diverted their vehicle in an attempt to take them hostage.
“However, following prompt information by eyewitness, troops quickly mobilized and pursuit the bandits forcing them to abandon the vehicle laden with passengers. All 14 victims were safely rescued.
“On 10 September 2020, troops acting on actionable intelligence arrested one illegal arms supplier named Usman Ibrahim from Ryom in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State.
“The suspect was arrested with 890 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition carefully concealed in his vehicle. Other items recovered from him include, 1 Jack knife, 1 Pistol Grip, a Nigerian Police ID card and the sum of Two Million Two Hundred and Thirty Naira (#2,230,000). Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect is a major illegal arms dealer supplying bandits in the North-West.
“Furthermore, on 10 September 2020, troops conducting clearance operation at Shekewa general area destroyed several bandits camps and arrested 3 suspected bandits named Adamu Musa, Hassan Bello and Rabiu Salisu, also one bandit was neutralized while trying to escape on a motorcycle.
“Additionally, on 11 September 2020, troops responding to distress call foiled an attempt by bandits to attack and loot locals at Magami village.
“On arrival to the village, the bandits engaged the troops but the resilient troops responded with superior fire power forcing the bandits to flee in disarray.
“During exploitation, one suspected bandit named Abubakar Umaru was apprehended.”
Troops also on September 2020, following information from locals, arrested one Yahaya Abubakar identified to be a bandit collaborator at Ungwan Kardorako village. The suspect is in custody undergoing interrogations.
“Troops while on patrol came in contact with suspected bandits along Bindim-Magami road, troops instinctively pursued the criminals forcing them to abandon 3 kidnapped victims as they managed to escape into the nearby bush.
He added that, on 12 September 2020, troops conducting stop and search operation in Gusau, Zamfara State based on reliable intelligence arrested one male and one female suspects namely Kabiru Dauda and Hafsat Musa with 9 parcels containing substances suspected to be Cannabis and other illicit hard drugs. Preliminary investigation revealed that suspects are suppliers of hard drugs to bandits.
“Troops acting on credible intelligence arrested a wanted suspected bandit named Usman Gorjo at Ungwar Alhaji Danbuzu and a suspected bandit informant named Isah Bala at Daudawa village.
“Suspects were arrested in connection with the killing of the head of Daudawa vigilante group recently.”
The DMO Acting Director had however commended the troops for their professionalism. He therefore assured the general public that the military is resolute in routing the bandits and other criminalities within the zone.