Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS) has announced a string of successes in its tactical operations in July and early August, 2017, busting kidnap gangs and Boko Haram cells in parts of the country. The service also waded into the boundary crisis between Cross River and Akwa Ibom States.
The security agency made this known today in a statement by Tony Opuiyo, its spokesman.
Among the successes listed was the arrest on July 3 of seven members of a kidnap gang at Kakuri Industrial Area in Kaduna State.
Arrested were Haliru Hassan and six other members of a notorious kidnap gang operating along the Abuja – Kaduna High Way.
The gang, which comprised Usman Abdulkadir, Yusuf Saidu, Abubakar Shuiabu, Abukakar Suleman, Uzairu Bawa, and Sani Abubakar, was allegedly terrorising motorists and commuters within the Rijana and Katari axis of the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
The statement reads in part: ”On 4 July, 2017, along Zaria – Funtua Road in Giwa LGA, Kaduna State, the Service busted another kidnap gang and apprehended its kingpins, Rabiu Sani aka Dogo and his close associate, Abubakar Sani, notorious kidnapper and gun-runner who has been supplying arms and ammunition to criminal elements in Kaduna, Kano, Taraba and Plateau States.
“During their arrest, the DSS operatives recovered a blue Volkswagen Vento with Reg. No. MGU 106 EA, One Pistol, 4 AK-47 Magazines, 5 FN rifle, 989 rounds of Ammunition, One (1) round of 9mm Ammunition, One (1) Beretta magazine, and N457, 140.
“Similarly, on 5 July, 2017, at Ikara Junction, Tudun Wada LGA in Kano State, two high profile kidnappers namely: Rabiu Dahiru aka Kachalla and Umar Ya’u were apprehended by the Service. Dahiru and Ya’u are members of the kidnap gang which has been operating at the Falgore forest in Kano State.
“Twenty six live cartridges and a bullet proof vest were found in their possession during their arrest.
”Also, on 4 August, 2017, this Service arrested a suspected gun-runner, Haruna Musa at Kasuwan Magani area, along Kaduna-Kachia Road in Kaduna State. Musa is a gun-runner who has been ferrying arms and ammunition to criminal elements especially kidnappers along forested communities in Birni Gwari and its environs.
“The operatives recovered from him a grey Opel Vectra V6 with Reg. No. 899-MKA and 31 AK-47 magazines.
”On 14 July, 2017, at the Federal Housing Authority Estate, Lugbe, FCT, the Service smashed the kidnap syndicate led by one Ebifagbe Dickson aka Ginikachi and five others namely: Williams Jephter, Messiah Philips, Sample Reuben, Prosper Ebitari and Charles Krobo James.
“This gang was responsible for the kidnap of five German expatriates of Bayelsa Coastline in Brass LGA. It was also intercepted while plotting to perpetrate series of kidnap operations in the Federal Capital Territory-Abuja.”
The DSS was active in Kogi State as well, where its operatives arrested one Jonathan Lukas and his accomplice, Nafiu Usman at Ajipome, Dekina LGA, on July 27, for their involvement in the series of kidnapping incidents in the state.
On Boko Haram arrests, the statement says, ”In furtherance of its counter-terrorism/insurgency fight against the extremist elements, the Service conducted a tactical operation against fleeing Boko Haram fighters on 1 July, 2017, at Sakwai in Kachia LGA of the Kaduna State. During the operation, one Usman Musa, a high profile Boko Haram cell leader, was apprehended alongside six of his accomplices, namely Isa Halidu, Ibrahim Dauda, Bature Mohammed, Buhari Dauda, Inusa Usman and Adamu IBRAHIM. Light arms, ammunition and radical literature were recovered from the cell.
”In Taraba State, the Service intercepted one Usman Halaji aka Abubakar Mubi, on 5 July, 2017, at Bali town, where he was hibernating after fleeing Sambisa Forest following military bombardment of the area. He was discovered to be advancing the doctrines of the terrorist group as well as recruiting vulnerable minds to join its ranks.
”On 13 July, another cell amir (leader), one Yusuf Isah was arrested at Sabuwar Yelwa area of Dala LGA in Kano State. It was sequel to this that a member of the cell, one Yakubu USMAN (Alh.) who had also fled from Sambisa forest following military operations in the North East was arrested, on 28th July, 2017, by the Service.
“Furthermore, on 3 August, 2017, two suspected Boko Haram fighters namely Buba Gebi aka Dogo Dan Cameroon and Manu Isah, were apprehended by the Service at Tamburawa, Dawakin Kudu, Kano State, on 3rd August, 2017. The duo were intercepted while heading to Lagos, in furtherance of the group’s cause.
”The Service also arrested one Bashir Yahaya Ojo, a suspected member of an ISIS-affiliated extremist cell and close associate of Bilal aka Malik, another extremist element at Nagazi in Adavi LGA. Ojo, in connivance with other members of the cell, has been indoctrinating and recruiting vulnerable youths in the State for the extremist group.
“On 10 August, 2017, at Kwatte Village, Rigasa District, Igabi LGA in Kaduna State, the Service, in conjunction with the Military, raided the hideout of a notorious armed robbery/kidnap gang led by one Salisu Lawan. During the operation, the criminals engaged operatives in a shoot-out, which resulted in the death of one Shehu Lawal (a gang member) while Lawan the ringleader and two (2) other members of the gang, namely Mohammed TUKUR (27 years) and Usman Mohammed (35 years) were arrested.”
On Cross River/Akwa Ibom boundary crisis, it says: “The DSS also waded into the boundary crisis between Ikot Offiong Community in Odukpani LGA of Cross State and Okuiboku in Itu LGA of Akwa Ibom State.
“The Service carried out a detailed investigation and found that a militant group led by one Don Marine aka The Don based in Odukpani is a key provocateur in the crisis.
“Consequently, on 10 August, the Service, in liaison with the Nigerian Army, raided the militants’ enclave located along Ikonoto Road, Ikonoto clan of Odukpani. During the operation, one Blanko was shot dead while three others were arrested and two escaped with gunshot injuries. Similarly, one dane gun and an American pump action gun were recovered from the hide-out.”