Two of the suspects
Says food vendors come to their den
By Bashir Bello
TWENTY years old Aliyu Musa, member of a gang of bandits that had been terrorizing Kankara and Danmusa Local Government areas of Katsina State, said yesterday that a white-coloured helicopter supplied the gang with the ammunition inside Dinya Forest, in Kankara council.
Musa disclosed this when he was paraded by the Katsina State Police Command alongside another gang member, Salmanu Isah, 18, and 15 others for various crimes.
He claimed when that whenever the helicopter came, it flew close to the ground and hovered until his boss, identified as Sirajo, would take delivery of the ammunition through a rope let down from the helicopter.
According to him: “a white helicopter came inside the forest, hovering close to the ground, and supplied our boss, Sirajo, with ammunition in Dinya, Kankara Local Government Area.
“They would throw down a rope and tied to the rope were guns. Our boss would untie them. The guns were more than 20. But I don’t know who the people in the helicopter are.”
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He also confessed to have shot at two persons, who he said didn’t die on the spot, but that his boss went after them and eliminated them.
He said: “I shot two, but they didn’t die instantly. My boss went after them, shot and used a machete to kill them. I used locally-made guns to shoot them.”
Musa said infighting between factional members of the bandits in the forest over a ransom for a kidnap victim, claimed the lives of 25 members.
According to him, “there was a fair-complexioned woman we kidnapped. My boss, Sirajo, demanded N17 million ransom to free her, while Salmanu’s boss and second in command to my boss insisted that N4 million ransom should be paid.
“So the relations said they won’t pay any ransom. They said she would remain in their custody. So when they wanted to share rustled cattle, fighting broke out, which led to a shootout between both factions. I counted 25 dead bodies: 10 from one faction and 15 from the other faction.
“Oga Sirajo is currently in Dinya.”
On how they operate, feed and how much is paid, Musa said: “We feed on maize and other grains our bosses stole from operations carried out after raid launched on villages, and rustled livestock.
“We operate with over 20 motorcycles. Three rode on one motorcycle. But we go with 10 motorcycles that do not have passengers on it to convey the foodstuffs and other valuables.
“I can’t count how many youths are in the gang, but we are many. They gave me up to N17,000, which I used to buy food from vendors who come to sell in the forest.”
His counterpart, Salmanu Isah, confessed to having participated in the recent attack in Zango village in Kankara council, where they sacked two-thirds of the residents.
Parading the suspects, the Command’s spokesman, ASP Anas Gezawa, said the duo of Musa and Isah were arrested in connection with recent attacks on Kankara Local Government Area of the state.
Gezawa said: “On August 15, based on a tip-off, the Command arrested Salmanu Isah aged 18, of Danbago village, and Aliyu Musa, 20, of Chediya village, both of Kankara Local Government Area. In the course of investigation, the suspects confessed that they were bandits that had been bedevilling Kankara village.
“The first suspect, Salmanu Isah, mentioned that they attacked some villages, robbed residents of Zango village and went away with eight cows. He also confessed that he shot dead one person before going to rob at Santa village, where they snatched six sheep and some food items.
“They also went to Bela and Zango villages, where they killed about 20 people and rustled two cows. They went to Omodo village, killed about five people, and also rustled eight cows and six sheep. They mentioned one Sirajo and Bishir as their gang leaders. An investigation is in progress.”
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