By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
department of State Services, DSS, yesterday, released the names and particulars of some notorious criminals arrested in parts of the country in relation to illegal supply of arms to robbers, kidnappers and other criminal elements across the country.
The service, in a statement by Tony Opuiyo and made available to Vanguard said the arrest of the masterminds and recovery of the deadly weapons were made possible through what it called ‘a nationwide sweep’ that lasted 10 days.
The agency said most of the gunrunners, who had been on its wanted list for several years, were linked to violent activities which included armed banditry and kidnapping.
The sweep began on March 13, at about 12:20p.m., with the arrest of one John Abbey, a suspected arms dealer, in Wukari, Taraba State, who had been on the agency’s wanted list for over 10 years over arms and ammunition trade.
The statement indicated that Abbey, also known as Jonah Idi, was arrested alongside his alleged driver, Agyo Saviour, a.k.a Dan-Wase.
He allegedly supplied arms to criminal groups in Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Rivers, Imo, Anambra, Plateau, Nasarawa, Benue and Taraba, working closely with Terwase Akwaza, a.k.a. Ghana, to terrorise residents in Benue State.
The DSS linked Abbey to a movement of arms and ammunition from Konduga, Borno State, to Taraba State, adding that Mr. Saviour was the driver used in the illegal transfer.
The statement said: “Indications are that he sources arms from the Republic of Cameroon and parts of the North-East of Nigeria.”
Abbey’s arrest came barely days after DSS nabbed one Sesugh Aondoseer, another suspected member of the Ghana’s gang.
Aondoser, who was arrested on March 7 around 12:23a.m. near the International Market along George Akume Road in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, was accused of masterminding “several kidnap and robbery operations in Katsina Ala-Ukum and Gboko-Makurdi axis of the state.
He was also linked to attacks in Takum, Taraba State.
In a similar operation on March 15, 2018, around 5p.m., operatives arrested a suspected kidnapper, Lawal Ibrahim, at a hotel along Bauchi Road, Jos North Local Government Area in Plateau State.
Ibrahim, a.k.a. Alhaji Anwalu, was arrested alongside Ado Saleh and Bayero Adamu, some of the men suspected to be members of his kidnap-for-ransom syndicate.