By Wole Mosadomi
Minna—Niger State Police Command has arrested no fewer than 194 suspected criminals in the state in the last one month, while 21 kidnap victims were also rescued.
The state Police Commissioner, Alhaji Zubairu Muazu, who paraded the suspects before newsmen in Minna yesterday, confirmed that most of the suspects were herdsmen and kidnappers, who have been terrorising several communities in Niger east senatorial district in the last one month.
He said: “The police, in collaboration with sister-security agencies, took the battle to the dens of bandits in Allawa, Kukoki, Pandogari, Isau, Kaffinkoro, Sarkin-pawa, Shiroro, Mangoro, Lapai and Gurara.
“The aerial surveillance and ground raids we have embarked on in the past few weeks have culminated into the harvest of arrests and recovery of assorted weapons.
Recovered cattle, weapons
“Among those arrested were 24 most wanted kidnappers and cattle rustlers and the 612 cattle recovered from the suspects had been handed over to their owners,” he added.
Beside the human and cattle arrests, weapons recovered from the suspects, according to the Police Commissioner, were five AK rifles, 648 rounds of live ammunition, 21 single-barrelled guns with 248 cartridges, one revolver and five shot guns.
Alhaji Muazu also disclosed that 21 victims kidnapped by the criminals were rescued.
Others items recovered from the suspects, he said, were six Ghana-made pistols, one locally-made pistol, nine Dane guns and other dangerous weapons such as axe, knives, bow and arrows.
The police boss said his men also arrested a man suspected to be giving treatment to injured herdsmen.
Alhaji Muazu said a box containing some drugs and other medical equipment, with which he carries out his illegal medication, was also recovered from him.