The Police on Saturday said they have disrupted plans by some kidnap gangs to abduct students and other citizens in Niger and the FCT.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said during a media briefing in Abuja on Saturday that three members of the gangs have been arrested.

He said the suspects were arrested on Jan. 17, by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) following credible intelligence.

Adejobi said the IRT on Jan. 15 received credible intelligence that a GSM number under surveillance belonging to one of the suspects called another GSM number, informing the recipient of a plan to carry out a kidnap operation.

According to him, in the GSM conversation, the suspect also told the recipient that he has invited other kidnapping gangs and promised to carry out the operation with him.

Adejobi said the suspect also called another  person on phone, who was later discovered to be a member of the gang, informing him that a civil servant in their custody is a very wealthy man with a lot of assets.

He told the gang member not to release the civic servant unless he pays a minimum of N50 million ransom.

According to him, in the same conversation, the suspect said he was still carrying out surveillance on a polytechnic in Niger to kidnap students.

“Investigation has shown that the suspects have been involved in several kidnapping operations in the FCT, including some that happened in Bwari axis.

“Our operatives are intensifying efforts to rescue the kidnap victims in their captivity and ensure that other members of the gang are arrested,” Adejobi said.

The force spokesman said police operatives have also arrested a suspect on Thursday in Kaduna over armed robbery and kidnapping.

Adejobi said the arrest followed a report that a man was abducted by four armed men from his house in Abuja and driven away in his Hilux van, registered RBC 90 DL.

The four armed men were said to have blocked their victim with their Mercedes Benz car.

“But luck ran out of them as they were intercepted by police operatives at a filling station in Kaduna where three of them escaped while one was arrested with the Hilux van recovered.

“The victim was being taken to Kano, but they stopped at Kaduna where they dispossessed him of his ATM cards and transferred N500,000 from his account,” he said.

He added that investigation had revealed that two of the four armed men were based in Abuja.

Adejobi recalled that the suspect and his accomplices were earlier arrested in November 2023, but granted bail by an FCT High Court.

Adejobi denied that the suspected kidnapper was shot dead to cover up investigation.

“We are here to correct some misinformation being circulated in the social media that the Police have killed the arrested suspects to silence some facts.

“With the inauguration of Special Intelligence Squad (SIS), the game has changed, there is no need to cover up for anybody or deceive Nigerians when we have cases like this.

“For those who have been spreading rumours on social media, listen carefully now.

“The arrested suspect is still alive on a stretcher because he has bullet injury during the operation but he is alive on a stretcher,” he said.

Adejobi said the suspect was arrested in Kaduna but handed over to the Police Command in the FCT for further investigation.

Meanwhile, the police spokesman said 16 suspects have been arrested by IRT operatives and the Anti-Violent Crime Unit, FCT Command, over alleged kidnapping, armed robbery, culpable homicide and other criminal offences.

He said the suspects had all given confessional statements and providing police operatives with relevant information to ensure the arrest of other criminals.

Adejobi said five AK 47 riffles, 11 pistols, two pump action guns, one English made berretta pistol, 65 rounds of AK 47 live ammunition, and seven rounds of live ammunition for berretta pistol were recovered from the suspects.

In a related development, the Commissioner of Police in charge of SIS, Mr Ben Igwe, said operatives of the squad had been deployed to all areas of the FCT, including Bwari, which has witnessed high level of kidnapping recently.

By Editor

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