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Military intercepts 91 suspects in Plateau, Kaduna



By Peters Monday, Abuja

The military task force maintaining peace in Plateau State and Southern Kaduna, code-named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), on Operation Hakorin Damisa IV, said 91 criminal suspects have been intercepted in the last 10 days.

According to him, the intercepted suspects are for crimes ranging from kidnapping, farm destruction, drug peddling, and cattle rustling, among others.

However, Captain Oya James, Media Information Officer, Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), revealed this in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Thursday.

James said, “Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) on Operation Hakorin Damisa IV during several operations launched from 25 September to 4 October 2023 have arrested 91 criminal suspects in connection with the kidnapping of University of Jos Students, attack on Tanzania Village, farm destruction, armed robbery, drug peddling and cattle rustling amongst others.

“The notorious kidnappers, Bashiru Musa and Idris Abdulrahman, who have been on the wanted list of OPSH, were arrested at Mista Ali village in Bassa Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.

“The suspects, during interrogation, narrated that they were involved in the kidnapping of 7 students of the University of Jos (UNIJOS) in July 2023.

“Items recovered from the suspects include one AK-47 rifle loaded with 12 rounds of 7.62mm special.”

He added, “The gallant troops acting on credible information also arrested Mr Goma Abubakar and Jibril Abass in connection to the attack on Takania village in Zango Kataf LGA of Kaduna State where six persons were murdered in cold blood.

“The troops also arrested two notorious armed robbers/kidnappers, Nasiru Ahmed and Isah Mamuda, at Kok village in Barkin Ladi LGA while Manu Sale and Amir Shaba notorious robbery syndicates operating along road Barkin Ladi–Mangu in Barkin LGA, were also arrested alongside an armed robbery gang leader, Mr Shaibu Abubakar at NTV village in Barkin Ladi LGA.

“Similarly, troops arrested two suspected kidnappers, Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Yakubu, a.k.a Yellow, at Amper checkpoint in Kanam LGA of Plateau State while trying to collect kidnapping ransome.

“Items recovered from the suspects include one cutlass, knife, two mobile phones and local charms.”

On cattle rustling, James said, “While on mobile operations, troops at Bokkos LGA arrested two suspected cattle rustlers, Abdullahi Ibrahim and Muhammadu Ori, at Gwandu village in Bokkos LGA.

“The troops also foiled a cattle rustling incident at Maiyanga village in Bassa LGA rescued 145 cows, and handed them over to the owners.

“During the operation, troops recovered three rifles, 12 rounds of 7.62mm special, nine rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition and three axes.

“Additionally, 57 cows were detained for grazing on farmlands at Rim village in Riyom LGA.”

Speaking further, “Troops thwarted an attempt to kidnap one Hon Magai Peter in his residence at Ruku village in Barkin Ladi LGA and another victim at Jeisey village.

“Troops’ superior firepower during an encounter with the kidnappers forced them to abandon their mission and flee.

“Items recovered included two Bajaj Boxers motorcycles.

“Troops also rescued two kidnapped victims, Miss Silva Hassan and Salvation Obadiah, at Zangang Hill, Kaura village in Kaduna State.

“Also, seven farmers were rescued at Jipun village, Pushit district of Mangu LGA from suspected militias while harvesting crops in their farms. However, one prime suspect, Ibrahim Isah, was arrested in connection with the incident. While at Nimba forest in Riyom LGA, one Bukar Kaigama was rescued from kidnappers by the troops.

“Troops also intercepted a truck carrying 720 bags of Urea fertilizer with fake clearance documents. Four occupants of the truck were arrested and are currently undergoing interrogation.

“In a similar development, troops also arrested a suspected cultist, Mafeng Gwott at Legislative quarters in Jos North LGA and recovered a pistol loaded with 9mm special ammunition.

“Additionally, 67 persons were arrested in connection to violent activities around Bolari village and seven locally fabricated rifles were recovered.”

The Commander OPSH, Major General A.E Abubakar, thanked residents of Plateau, Bauchi and Southern Kaduna for their cooperation so far and urged them to continually provide actionable information to troops as they work tenaciously to protect lives and property.

He assured residents that the arrested suspects would be charged in court immediately after investigations.