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Lukman Issah a.k.a Commander, The Terror Linchpin; His Reign, His Exploits & His Doom.

Lukman Issah aka Commander, who was from Emani Clan of Obeiba – Ihima area of Okehi Local Government Area of Kogi State was a vicious bloodletting serial killer/arsonist who enjoyed a long spell of criminal reign from the year 2001 when he was first picked up on the crime radar in the State, till 3rd September, 2017 when he met his waterloo in the aftermath of a shootout with operatives of the Command.

During the years he held forth in the crime world, Lukman left many deaths, robberies and arsons on his trail. Countless number of uniformed personnel including Policemen, Soldiers and even Prison Officers, posted to the State as well as other innocent Nigerians met their untimely death as they were murdered in cold blood by Lukman Issah and his gang members.

Given the number of years he remained elusive, he adorned the toga of invincibility, operating with reckless impunity as human lives meant little or nothing to him and his gang members. He had for his criminal exploits, remained a high profile suspect on police wanted list in the State and beyond as he was equally been looked for by the Federal SARS, Abuja.

Some of his atrocities include;

  1. Murder of two Police Officers at Ogori / Magongo – Okene Road and Arson on 15th May 2017: – On 15th May, 2017 at about 0440Hour, Lukman Issah a.k.a Commander led members of his gang to attack a Police Patrol team which was on Stop and Search duty along Ogori/Magongo – Okene Road.

During the attack, the leader of the Police team ASP. Adetoye Okuntade of Ogori/Magongo Division and Inspr. Ochekpo Amanyi of 37 PMF Squadron were shot dead while the patrol vehicle used by the Police team was set ablaze.

Two AK 47 riffles in custody of the two deceased officers were taken away with a total 60 rounds of ammunition.

Prior to this time, Lukman Isah a.k.a Commander on the 29th March, 2011 at about 1945Hour, led his gang members to attack men of 37 PMF posted on Special Duty at Adogo in Ajaokuta L.G.A of Kogi State.

Four police officers, namely (1) Inspr. Maxwell Dan-Zaria, (2) Sgt. Moses Usman, (3) Cpl. Sunday Ogbole, and (4) PC. Bulus Linka were all killed during the attack while their arms and ammunition were taken away.

  1. Attack on worshippers at Deeper Life Bible Church: – On the 6th August, 2012, at about 2000Hour, Lukman Issah a.k.a Commander and his gang launched an attack on the worshippers at Deeper Life Bible Church, Otite near Federal College of Education, Okene.

Nineteen (19) worshippers were shot dead while several others sustained varying degrees of injuries.

Three suspects namely Abdulmanna Obadaki, Yekini Isah and Sadiq Jimoh Bello, members of Lukman Issah a.k.a Commander’s gang were arrested in connection with the commission of the crime. Six AK 47 riffles including the military riffles and one Berretta ammunition were recovered.

The three suspects indicted Lukman ISSAH of involvement in the commission of the crime.

  • The killing of Ohireba of Ihima: – Sometime in February 2012, Lukman Issah and his gang shot dead the Ohireba of Ihima while relaxing in the front of his house in the evening.

The killing was in linked to the stoppage of Okiri masquerade outing during the fuel subsidy crisis.

The encounter leading to the death of Lukman Issah on Sunday 3rd of September, 2017 was indeed avoidable.

The police team; acting on a tip off had merely gone to check out the veracity of the information with a view to apprehending him. The team had no slightest intention of engaging him in a shoot-out, least killing him.

However, on getting wind of police presence, he as usual, resisted arrest, while his gang members engaged the police in a gun battle in the course of which the police operational vehicle was riddled with bullets.

The personnel were lucky to have escaped as his gang members continued on their rampage.

However, the Officer – in – Charge of Ihima Police Post was not so lucky, he was inflicted a deep machete cut on his head while another senior officer in the Police Post was also injured by his rampaging gang members.

The Police Post was set ablaze with the personal car of the Officer – in – Charge while six other cars belonging to the traditional head of the community were severely damaged and the palace vandalized.

Intelligence available to the Command revealed that Lukman Issah had over the years amassed offensive weapons which he retained for criminal use. 

Reports also showed that some years back, due to the observed increasing and alarming rate of violent crimes involving the use of guns in Kogi Central area, a Disarmament exercise was embarked upon in Ebiraland.

While so many armed groups and clans voluntarily submitted to the process by disarming and submitting their weapons, available records showed that Lukman Issah a.k.a Commander and his gang members made a mockery of the well intentioned exercise by submitting only one unserviceable military rifle in his possession.

Other weapons in their possession, which they had taken from policemen and military men killed by them, remained with them and they continued to use them to rob, kill, kidnap and unleash terror across the State and beyond.

It is believed that these weapons are retained for use, aside for immediate criminal purpose, also as arsenal reserved in anticipation of future inter – clan wars in the town. This you will agree with me is most dangerous.

The list of crimes and complaints against Lukman Issah is unending. Recently, a body known as Crime Prevention and Right Restoration Foundation in its petition addressed to the Inspector – General of Police, entitled URGENT ACTION TO CURTAIL MR. LUKEMAN ISAH. HIS GANG & SPONSORS FROM FURTHER COMMITTING HEINOUS CRIME IN KOGI CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT, dated 9th June, 2017 reported a litany of atrocities committed by the said Lukman Issah which included serial murders armed robberies and arsons.

The petitioner called for urgent measures to expeditiously arrest and investigate him with a view to bringing him to justice.

In another instance, a sitting member of the current Kogi State House of Assembly, as recent as 14th August submitted a petition entitled SAFE MY SOUL FROM THE SAME NOTORIOUS LUKMAN OF IHIMA. In the said petition, the Honourable member alleged that he received threatening calls from Lukman in which he threatened to kill the Honourable and members of his family if he refused to give him the sum of Three Million Naira {N3,000,000.00}.

The Honourable added that he narrowly escaped an attack on his life by Lukman and his gang members as a result of which he and members of his family lives in palpable fear and could no longer sleep in his family house again.

The recent urge to arrest Lukman Issah was a proactive step to nip in the bud, an impending inter – clan war as alleged in a petition dated 28th August, 2017 by a group addressed as CONVERT ACTION INFORMATION BULLETIN, entitled URGENT ACTION TO CURTAIL CLANS IN IHIMA, TURNING THE COMMUNITY TO A WAR-TORN ZONE.

In the said petition, it was alleged that the Emani Clan to which Lukman Issah belonged, has threatened to unleash mayhem on innocent people of Ihima community if the proposed installation of a new clan head, the Obobanyi of Ohueta by the Ohueta clan {one of the six clans that made up Ihima community of which Emani is one} scheduled for September 16, 2017 is allowed to take place.

This is simply because the people of Emani clan are opposed to the use of the title, the Obobanyi, which is similarly used by them, by the Ohueta clan.

In the course of Police investigation, intelligence was received that Lukman Issah was to serve as the arrow head of the attack and was indeed amassing arms and ammunition, preparatory to wage war.

For purpose of clarification, it need being reiterated here that the police operation at Ihima on Sunday, 3rd September, 2017 was purely a police anti – crime operation aimed at purging Ihima community of criminal elements ahead of planned inter – communal warfare being planned in the community.

There was no political undertone as reportedly being insinuated in some quarters. Rather, it was part of the larger police strategy and efforts at combating violent crimes in Kogi Central Senatorial District which commenced since 18th August 2017.

The operation which is still ongoing has yielded positive dividends in terms of arrest of criminals and recovery of weapons and by and large prevented the perpetration of some heinous crimes planned to take place ahead of the last Sallah celebration.

The Nigeria Police, Kogi State Command is totally committed and will continue to carry out its duties in a manner that will ensure the security of lives and property in the State. Lukman Issah was to be arrested and would have been arrested if he had not resisted arrest and his gang members attacked the Police team.

The police purposely did not want him dead as his death has denied the Force valuable information on his exploits and accomplices over the years as well as the recovery of weapons in his possession.

He was even taken to the hospital after the encounter but unfortunately, he did not make it.

 

ASP WILLIAM OVYE AYA,

POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER,

KOGI STATE COMMAND, LOKOJA.

 

 

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