OPERATIVES of the Nigeria Police Force have arrested a total of 81 suspects for various crimes, including banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, homicide and illegal manufacturing and distribution of vehicle number plates.
Items recovered from them were 45 assorted firearms, which included 17 AK-47 rifles, 20 locally made AK-47 rifles, one General Purpose Machine Gun, 9,899 AK-47 live ammunition, 80 pieces of illegally produced number plates and two Toyota cars and other dangerous weapons.
The police said the suspects consisting of 78 males and three females were arrested in different parts of the country in April and May.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police, at a news briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, said some of the suspects were arrested over alleged gun running, unlawful possession of firearms and other sundry offences.
According to him, the arrest of the suspects was a major achievement recorded by the Intelligence Response Team and Special Tactical Squad.
He said the achievements had nothing to do with other landmark investigative and operational breakthroughs at the various zones and State Commands across the country.
“We also recovered 80 pieces of illegally produced vehicle number plates and two Toyota cars; Camry and Corolla, robbed at gunpoint but eventually recovered by police operatives,” Mba said.
He said kidnap syndicates operating between the borders of Sokoto State, Nigeria and Niger Republic were among the suspects arrested.
One of the suspects, who is also a leader of transnational kidnap gang operating on the borders of Sokoto and Niger Republic, Abdullahi Dalhatu admitted to have carried out several kidnap operations in Niger Republic and Nigeria.
Mba said the suspects had carried out several operations on both sides of the border, qualifying them to be described as trans-border kidnap syndicates
He said the suspects met their waterloo after kidnapping and killing Alhaji Abba Abbey, an aide to the former governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko.
The FPRO said Abbey was taken hostage after being lured by his ex-girlfriend, who had at the point of kidnap, moved on and fallen in love with one of the kidnappers.
Mba said the kidnappers took the victim into their custody and demanded a ransom of N50m, but was killed when there was delay in the payment of the ransom.
He said background checks conducted on the leader of the gang revealed that he owned houses in Nigeria and Niger Republic.
Mba said the check revealed that the leader was also an ex-convict having served jail sentence in Niger Republic after being involved in some homicide-related cases.
The police also paraded Sylvester Agbole, who collaborated with another suspect, Samuel Emmanuel to killed one Godwin Christopher.
Speaking to journalists, the suspect, Agbole said Christopher loaned him N500,000 for his wedding and this led to the murder of Christopher.
He said that when he discovered that Christopher had money, he sent Emmanuel and others to rob him and in the process, Christopher was killed.
Though he denied ordering the death of Christopher, Agbole admitted that he had not paid him (Christopher) the N500,000 he borrowed before sending the robbers after him.