… I was paid #100,000 for the job, one of the bandits dressed in military uniform.
… Special Tactical Squad arrest gang who raided 16 churches in FCT and stole musical instruments of churches choir
By: Kingsley Omonobi – Abuja.
Three members of the armed bandit’s gang who kidnapped 126 students of the Bethel Baptist Secondary School, Maraban Damishi in Kaduna state on the 5th of July 2021 have been arrested by the Police Special Tactical Squad led by DCP Kolo Yusuf.
Commissioner of Police in charge Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba who made this known while parading the three suspected bandits, all dressed in military uniforms which they use for their criminal operations, gave their names as Isiaka Lawal, Muazu Abubakar and Adamu Bello.
Mba said the trio are part of the larger gang that carried out the horrible act of kidnapping young innocent school children and subjecting them to harrowing experiences.
“We just want Nigerians to know that no crime against innocent citizens, will be allowed to rest until we get the perpetrators, no matter how long it takes”, he said.
One of the bandits, Muazu Abubakar who said he is 27 years old, disclosed that their gang consists of 25 bandits that attacked the school and abducted 126 students.
He said, “We kidnapped the 126 students because we were in need of money. I was paid #100,000 from the kidnapping. The other two persons you are seeing with me in army Camouflage uniform are members of our gang”.
Another gang paraded by the FPRO was a gang who specialized in breaking into churches and stealing musical instruments used during church services in the FCT
CP Mba said, “They have raided over 16 different churches in the FCT especially those in the metropolitan part of the city. Among items recovered from them were 12 Piano Keyboards for the church choir.
He said one of the suspects named Monday Akano, after they would have broken into the churches late at night, would change his dress and wear a military uniform with the rank of a Captain purportedly of the Army and when the vehicle conveying the musical instruments is stopped by security agencies, he says he is the leader of the military band who had just finished performing at a function.
“After so many escapes, we eventually caught up with him. We discovered that the badge on the beret is wearing is fake, does not belong to the Army. He is an impostor, he is a thief camouflaging himself as a security operative.
“He works in cohort with a ready buyer in the person of Joseph Orazulike, 35 years and he is ready to buy all the musical equipment stolen from the various churches”.
Commenting on his involvement, Monday Akano said, “I am from Nasarawa State. I and my gang steal musical instruments from churches. I have stolen from 16 churches especially Mountain of Fire Ministries and Redeem Christian Church”
“My boss taught me that when we steal the instruments, I should wear Nigerian Army uniform to beat Police and security people. I use the uniform as a ‘Pass’. We sell the Pianos according to how my boss told me for between #60,000, #70,000 and #90,000.
On his part, the buyer of the stolen instruments, Joseph Orazulike who hails from Anambra state said, “Yes I have been buying musical instruments from Monday. I know him as an officer. So far, I have bought 6 keyboards, mixers and amplifiers from him. I usually pay between #60,000, #70,000 and #90,000 depending on the quality of the equipment.
Giving his advice to churches, CP Frank Mba said, “In addition to spiritual protection through the house of God, you should provide physical security. These suspects believe churches are vulnerable because there are no guards. Provide human security, CCTV cameras and a good lighting system to illuminate the whole environment as it serves as a deterrent.
He called on leaders of churches in the FCT whose musical instruments were stolen as a result of burglary and activities of criminals to come to the Special Tactical Squad office with proof of ownership to collect back their keyboards and other instruments.
Also paraded are two criminal elements, Mubarak Mohammed 22 years old and Mohammed Molde.
While Mubarak confessed to being a member of the gang that kidnapped a female student of the Kwara State University in Ilorin, Molde aka Catfish confessed that he is a hardened armed robber who has participated in over 50 highway robbery attacks on motorists along highways in Oyo, Kwara and Niger states.
CP Mba said Mubarak was arrested by Operatives of the STS in Kwara State working closely with officials of the Kwara State government with the state Governor showing special interest in getting the female student rescued, which was successfully achieved without payment of ransom.
Another gang paraded was a 4 man gang who procure and sell illicit drugs to armed bandits and insurgents in the North West and North East.
The gang consists of Suleiman Bello and Awal Bello both from Sokoto state and Ibrahim Zapal Yau and Aliyu Abdurahman both from the Niger Republic
“Over 100 packets of Tramadol for distribution to bandits, insurgents and other criminal elements were recovered from the gang.
Abdulrahman said that a pack of the Tramadol which is contained in the packet size of bathing soap and sells for between #20,000 and #22,000 and that they are sold to buyers from Zamfara state, Yobe state.
Mba said the suspects were arrested at the border between Nigeria and the Niger Republic adding, “These are the drugs taken by bandits, terrorists and criminal elements who carry out all types of heinous crimes in the country without any sense of remorse. They use the drugs to get into a mental state of disregard for fear, and commission of unimaginable atrocities.”