By Chimezie Godfrey
The Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested thirty-five suspects comprising thirty-four male and one female for their alleged involvement and indictment in cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other heinous crimes in some parts of the country.
The police also arrested five inmates who escaped from lawful custody from the Benin City Correctional Centre during the #ENDSARS protests.
DCP Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer (PRO), Force Headquarters, Abuja revealed this in a statement on Monday.
Mba disclosed that the exhibits recovered from the suspects include: 8 AK49 rifles,1 Beretta Pistol with 6 rounds of live ammunition, 3 locally made pistols, and 111 rounds of AK47 ammunition.
Others are 10 AK47 magazine, 5 live cartridges,7 Laptop computers, 1 anti-tracking device,1 camouflage vest, 8 stolen but recovered vehicles, and 1 stolen but recovered trailer truck (Mercedes Actros with reg. no. NNK 334 YT).
The Force PRO pointed out that notable amongst the cases was the re-arrest of five (5) inmates who escaped from lawful custody at the Oko Correctional Centre, Benin City during the #ENDSARS protests.
According to him, the suspects, Onaruje Benjamin, who had earlier been convicted for Conspiracy and Armed Robbery and was on death-row at the time of escape, Adebayo Opeyemi, a dismissed soldier, Peter Felix Osas, Frank Odion Oloye and Alhaji Hudu Musa a.k.a Mai Cellular were arrested by operatives of the FIB – Intelligence Response Team in Kaduna State for the offences of Armed Robbery, Car Theft and Unlawful Possession of Firearms.
He said investigations revealed that the suspects having escaped from the Correctional Centre, formed a new criminal gang and returned to their old criminal enterprise.
“As a matter of fact, one of the suspects, Onaruje Benjamin, snatched a Toyota Corolla Car in Benin, 30 minutes after his escape from the Correctional Centre.
“Five (5) vehicles earlier snatched from their owners at gun point in different parts of the country were recovered from the gang.
“While Onaruje Benjamin is the leader of the gang and the arms bearer, Alhaji Hudu Musa is in charge of ferrying and disposing the stolen vehicles to Niger Republic,” he stated.
Mba further revealed one female suspect, Talatu Ibrahim, 40 years old from Shinkafi LGA, Zamfara State from whom six (6) AK49 rifles were recovered. Her arrest led to the subsequent arrest of one Duleji Alhaji Abubakar a.k.a Ori jeje residing at Ekka village in Kwara State
According to him, findings revealed that Ori Jeje has been getting arms supply from Talatu Ibrahim to carry out series of kidnapping and armed robbery in Kwara State.
Mba also disclosed that operatives equally arrested one Abdullahi Mohammed a.k.a ‘Governmenti’, a specialist in car snatching.
He said that investigation revealed that the suspect, within 90 days (August, September, and October, 2020) snatched 18 vehicles at gun-point from their owners in Jos and Bauchi States.
He said that all the suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigations.
Mba assured the citizens of the renewed commitment of the Force to their safety and security.