•Nabs Tompolo’s ally, NDA, IPOB masterminds, suspected Kidnap kingpins
The Department of State Service (DSS), has raised the alarm over plans by the extremist groups to attack public and worship centres across the country during the Salah celebration.
The DSS in a statement signed yesterday by Mr Tony Opuiyo also disclosed that they had arrested some suspected leaders and members of the various insurgent groups as well as kidnap kingpins.
“Also, this Service wishes to alert the general public to be wary of suspicious packages and persons, as the celebration of the Eid-el-Fitr approaches.
“The Service is availed of intelligence which indicates the threat by extremist elements to attack selected locations across the Federation, particularly parks and congregations of worshippers, in order to further their cause,” Opuiyo stated.
He stressed that some “States of the of the Federation have witnessed a spate of kidnapping incidents perpetrated by criminal elements in a bid to further their selfish pecuniary and/or criminal interests”.
“In furtherance of security measures initiated to checkmate this trend, series of special tactical operations were carried out by this Service, where successful arrests of masterminds of these criminal gangs were made by the Service, while their hide-outs were decimated.”
According to him, the measures being put in place had yielded results, especially in a bid to stem the activities of vandals in the Niger Delta, with the arrest of one Selky Kile Torughedi on June 17, 2016, in Calabar, Cross River State.
He claimed that Torughedi was an ex-militant and suspected member of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), and was arrested for planning to assassinate one MB Yahaya, a serving military officer.
“Torughedi, who is a close associate of Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), had already conducted surveillance at the residence of Yahaya in Kaduna, preparatory to his plot when he was intercepted. He is also fingered as a sponsor of pipeline vandalism in some States in the South-South region. The suspect is currently assisting the Service, with critical leads,” he stated.
In a related operation, Opuiyo said that the Nigerian Secret agency also arrested one Christian Oluba, who is acknowledged and known as ‘Sensor’, another suspected militant with the NDA. He said that ‘Sensor’ was arrested while perfecting plans to carry out explosive attacks on critical oil and gas pipelines, including critical storage points.
He said that “sequel to increasing threat posed to public peace by the activities of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), this Service arrested one Chidiebere Onwudiwe, a graduate of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering and known a member of IPOB, on June 22, 2016”.
He claimed that Onwudiwe and his associates within and outside the country were planning to carry out coordinated attacks against religious bodies/edifices, Police-Check Points and the computer village in Ikeja, Lagos State, with Improvised Explosive devices (IEDS).
“The suspect was apprehended while making logistics supplies for their nefarious plan,” he said.
Concerning the apprehension of suspected kidnap masterminds, Opuiyo said that the DSS on June 7, 2016, along Murtala Muhammad Bridge, along Lokoja-Abuja Highway, in Lokoja, Kogi State, nabbed one Kabiru Shuaibu, the ring-leader of a kidnap gang, comprising his accomplices: Haruna Saleh, Tukur Shuaibu and Abdulmumuni Adamuna.
He said that the suspects were part of a criminal gang which had been terrorising innocent citizens in the Northern region of the Federation.
Opuiyo said that during their arrest, a locally-made pistol, seven cartridges, 14 mobile phones and six hundred and fifteen thousand nairas (N615,000) were recovered from them.
Part of the statement read: ” On June 8, 2016, one Reuben Akinbehinje aka Chairman, the ring-leader of a notorious kidnap syndicate, was arrested by this Service in Akure, Ondo State, along with five other members of his gang namely; John Imoleayo Uche, Seun Lajuwon, Seun Iseoluwa Akintayo, Lateef Fayemi Hammed and Saheed Oyewo.
The Akinbehinje gang has been the brain behind the kidnap of two Catholic nuns in the State and other criminalities such as armed robbery, hijack and diversion of fuel tankers and cult-related activities in Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Kwara States.
“Similarly, on June 12, 2016, this Service arrested one Ifeanyi Michael Onyike, a suspected kidnap kingpin at D-line, Port Harcourt in Rivers State. Onyike was involved in the kidnap of Ebere Chinda, wife to Igo Chinda, the Personal Assistant (PA) to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.”
Further to this tactical offensive, Opuiyo said, on June 25, 2016, in one of the North-Western States, one Sani Abdullahi, and his three accomplices, namely Rufai Tukur Abdullahi, Najeeb Abubakar and Abdullahi Ahmed, were apprehended by the Service.
He said the group had concluded arrangements to embark on serial kidnap of high-value targets in Katsina State, before their arrest.
According to him, the “gang has hitherto been terrorising the North-Western States of Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara”.
In another development, he said, on June 19, 2016, at Langtang North LGA in Plateau State, the DSS in liaison with the military and Police, arrested one Nanpon Sambs (aka Yabam), an illegal arms dealer.
He claimed that “Sambs is a member of a notorious black market arms syndicate led by one Peter Nehemiah (aka Adagyo) which operates in the State.
“A Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launcher and circuit charger were recovered from a Toyota Highlander SUV belonging to the suspect.”
Opuiyo stated that “the Service will continue to deploy every window within its constituted mandate to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding residents and citizens wherever they reside”.
He, however, called on the general public to be security-conscious and to report any suspicious persons/groups or activities to relevant security agencies.