Katsina State Police Command yesterday in Katsina paraded five suspected kidnappers of 80-year-old mother-in-law of Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari, Hajia Hauwa Yusuf.
Others paraded after the major operation carried out by Inspector-General of Police (IG) Intelligence Response Team (IRT) attached to ‘Operation Puff Adder’ were 70 kidnap kingpins and cattle rustlers.
The seized items displayed during the parade include: 62 AK 47rifles, two light Assault Rifles, 19 Dane Guns, 44 motorcycles, five motor vehicles,1500 ammunition measuring 7.62mm,200 catridges,33 jerry cans loaded with petrol, five bags of food items and 25-litre jerry can of palm oil.
Commissioner of Police Sanusi Buba told reporters during the parade that the arrest of the criminals and their operational logistics represented a major breakthrough in the sting operations at various locations in the state.
He said: “The team succeeded in arresting several criminal elements and recovered large cache of arms and ammunition and their operational motorcycles, food items and other incriminating exhibits.’’
The police chief gave the names of the syndicate that kidnapped the governor’s mother-in-law as Abdul Nafi Sani (23) of Sokoto Rima quarters; Abubakar Dani (25); Rabe Hamza (30); Marwana Gide (25); Abdul Hakim Bashir (22) – all from Katsina State.
Sanusi reiterated the commitment of his command to rid the state of the menace of criminal activities, adding that the ongoing onslaught against banditry and other heinous crimes would not cease until peace is restored in Katsina State
He appealed to residents to support and partner the police by providing credible information that would lead to the arrest of suspected persons
He said: “I also wish to warn all persons within the communities aiding the bandits either by way of information or provision of logistics like fuel and food items to desist from it or be prepared to face the consequences.’’
Hajiya Yusuf was kidnapped on March 8 at her Dandume Crescent home in Katsina and released on March 15 after collecting an undisclosed amount as ransom.
Although the police had stated they were on the trail of the culprits when the woman was released, their efforts yielded fruit recently with the arrest of alleged gang leader and other members traced to Plateau, Kano, Katsina States and Abuja.
It was gathered yesterday that those arrested included those allegedly supplying arms, ammunition and hard drugs to the gang.
The police said Napkon Sambo, 31, was the chief arms supplier and Haruna Adamu, 31, was said to be responsible for transporting the weapons and drugs to the gang.
It was gathered that one of the suspects led detectives to a grocery shop he opened with his share of the ransom collected for Hajiya Yusuf release.
Police sources said they have identified and seized lands and houses of some of the suspects acquired with proceeds of kidnapping.
During interrogation by journalists at the parade ground, the Kidnappers of Masari’s mother in-law said they collected N30,000,000 ransom before releasing the aged woman.