The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested high profile Boko Haram members, including an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) specialist in Kano, as well as other 20 members of criminal gangs across the country.
The DSS, in a statement sunday by its spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, said that as part of its commitment towards improving security across the country, the department had sustained tactical and counter-terrorism operations, which had yielded major successes with the arrest of terrorists and other criminals across the country.
It said: “In response to the regrouping of Boko Haram elements in Kano State, the Service in concert with the military, carried out coordinated operations in the state which led to the apprehension of two high profile members of the sect, namely; Ibrahim Ustaz Abubakar and Idris Audu (aka AYA).”
According to him, Audu is an IED specialist who was being groomed to penetrate security agencies in the country.
“Audu had already perfected plans to seek for recruitment in the next recruitment scheme of the Nigerian Army, before his arrest,” it revealed.
It said that the Service on August 22, 2016, arrested a kidnap kingpin, Samuel Asuquo, at Nasarawa Bakoko village in Cross River State.
It stated further that Asuquo was the mastermind of the kidnap of three Australian staff of Lafarge Cement Company, for which his gang received a ransom of N150 million.
The DSS added: “On August 30, 2016, the trio of Bamaiyi Mustapha (aka Dan Borno), Aminu Isa and Hassan Shehu, members of a notorious kidnap gang operating around the Abuja-Kaduna axis, were arrested at Lafia, Nasarawa State,” saying that the gang had earlier kidnapped five Igbo women and collected N13 million as ransom.
It noted that its operatives had in another operation carried out on August 30, at Tamburawa village along Kano-Zaria Expressway, Kano State, apprehended members of a notorious kidnap/armed robbery syndicate operating from Falgore forest in Doguwa LGA, Kano State, including Alhassan Musa and Ado Yusuf.
On August 19, 2016, it added, two kidnappers, Abdulrasheed Ibrahim and Aliyu Umar, who had been operating in Zamfara and its environs, were arrested, explaining that the duo had been terrorising residents of the area along with a kidnap group headed by Buhari General, who is still at large.
Part of the statement read: “Also, on August 26, 2016, two notorious kidnappers, armed robbers and assassins; Moses Achia and Fanen Igbetar, were arrested at Kperlegba Village, Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State. One AK-47 rifle, five fully loaded AK-47 magazines, 150 rounds of live ammunition and one pistol loaded with 15 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from them. The syndicate had planned to kidnap a female business tycoon in Makurdi, Benue State.
“On September 3, 2016, a kidnapping gang under the coordination of one late Sunny Isaac, which has been terrorising residents in states of the South-east zone, was busted by the Service at Aba in Abia State. Prior to their arrest, the gang had masterminded series of kidnapping incidents in the state, including the abduction of one Uche Ikonne, an American citizen in the state. Other members of the gang arrested by the Service include Nnaoma Amak, Chiedozie Ebere, Bartholomew Michael, Chinweotito Innocent and Celestine Ikarangwan, while the following items were recovered from them during the time of arrest; the sum of N400,000.00, a double-barrel gun with two (2) live ammunition, a Toyota-Corolla car, a Volkswagen Golf car, and the mobile cellphone belonging to Ikonne.
“In another development, this Service has arrested one Abbas Mohammed at Asokoro, Abuja. The subject was sending several threat messages to the Ukranian Ambassador to Nigeria. Preliminary investigation revealed that Mohammed was formerly employed by the embassy as a driver but he began threatening his former employer after losing his job arising from observed gross acts of insubordination from him to his employers.
“On the economic front, this Service is currently intensifying action against high level fraudsters whose unwholesome activities are negatively affecting investors confidence with multiplier risk to genuine businesses nationwide.”
The DSS also revealed that it had arrested one Izuagie Mohammed in Benin City, Edo State on August 24, 2016, for impersonating the Accountant General of the Federation.
It stressed that Mohammed had already defrauded unsuspecting members of the public posing as the Nigerian AGF on Facebook and promising them facilitation of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) empowerment loan, before he was apprehended.
The DSS also said on August 28, 2016, it apprehended Taiye Alade and Ajoke Kolawole at Fabian Hotel, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, explaining that the two had cloned the GSM number of the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and were using it to defraud his close associates.
Assuring all law abiding citizens and residents that it would not rest on its oars in its determination to ensure a safe environment for all to carry out their legitimate business, the DSS appealed to the public by providing useful information to its operatives on criminal elements in their midst.