In keeping with its commitment and pledge to ensure the safety of citizens and residents in the country, the Department of State Services (DSS), in collaboration with sister security agencies, has further sustained its counter operations to degrade and contain the activities of unscrupulous elements, including kidnappers and insurgents in parts of the country.
On 23rd March, 2018, at Japama in Obajana LGA, Kogi State, Lawal Mohammed (aka Buba), a major financier and armourer of the dreaded Basalube kidnap gang was apprehended by a joint team of the Service and the Military.
Two (2) other members of the gang namely – Mohammed Tukur and Abubakar Ibrahim were also arrested in the operation.
Tukur was identified as the Chief surveillance officer of the gang as he coordinated the gang’s movement across the various States of Rivers, Edo, Delta, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Kogi and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja preparatory to the execution of their operations.
Three (3) GSM phones and twenty Five (25) bottles of psychotropic inducers were recovered from the suspects.
Relatedly, on the same date, at Lower Afesere, Ughelli North LGA, Delta State, Ali Abubakar, a notorious kidnapper and top ranking member of the same Basalube gang was also arrested.
This arrest was effected while he was perfecting plans to carry out kidnap operations in Obajana, Kogi State.
The following members of his gang were subsequently arrested: Abubakareem Idrissa; Bashir Uban Dawaki Tsoho; Sanusi Abubakar; Nuhu Muhammed; and Abubakar Abdulhameed.
In its determination to decimate the Basalube group, the Service on 26th March, 2018, at Dikko area of Niger State, arrested Abubakar Danlansu, driver and weapon courier of the group.
The suspect was arrested en-route Edo state from where he was to convey weapons to Obajana, Kogi State for the gang’s planned kidnap operations.
In another development, on 23rd March, 2018, at Skippers Fast Food, along Sani Abacha Express Way, Yenagoa, the Service arrested Mathew Ekam over his complicity in the kidnap of Obianuju Onyema, earlier abducted on 12th March 2018 and later released on 18th March, 2018.
The 39 year old suspect is a native of Ogoja, Cross River State and a driver of a heavy duty truck operating between Bayelsa and Rivers States.
Also, on 24th March, 2018, at the outskirts of Wudil town, Wudil LGA, the Service arrested a suspected Boko Haram element, Sanusi Mohammed Bello, believed to be carrying out surveillance activities for the extremist group in the area.
At the point of his arrest, several handsets, multiple identity cards including those of a Police Constable and neighbourhood vigilante member and the sum of thirty seven thousand, eight hundred and fifty five naira (N37, 857. 00) were recovered from him.
The arrests of these suspects hold major significance for law and order and safety of persons.
It is instructive to note that the activities of kidnappers and armed robbers on the Lokoja-Okene and Abuja-Kaduna corridors have relatively reduced as a result of sustained counter operations of the Service and sister security agencies.
It is believed that the recent apprehension of Ali Abubakar and other members of the dreaded Basalube kidnap gang led by Ibrahim Basalube and Abubakar Siddi as well as the disruption of the group’s network will ostensibly result in the complete elimination of violent and other allied crimes in those regions.
The successes so far recorded by the Service are geared towards providing a safe and peaceful environment for law abiding citizens to pursue their legitimate endeavours.
We wish to reassure the public that the tempo of these operations will be continually reviewed, strengthened and sustained.
The Service, therefore, wishes to reiterate its stance that all perpetrators of violence and criminality against the Nigerian State and its law-abiding citizens will be made to face the full course of law no matter how long it takes.
Tony Opuiyo, DSS,
Abuja, 27th March, 2018.