Department of State Services (DSS) said its tactical team had apprehended about eight criminals, among them, a notorious gunrunner, in the last 10 days. This is contained in a statement issued by Mr. Tony Opuiyo, yesterday in Abuja.
Opuiyo said that on Tuesday, about 12.22p.m., at Wukari town in Wukari Local Government Area of Taraba State, members of the tactical team arrested the gunrunner, Jonah Abbey aka Jonah Idi alongside his driver, Agyo Saviour aka Dan-Wase. According to him, Abbey has been on the wanted list of the DSS for the last 10 years over arms and ammunition trade.
The DSS said Abbey had been servicing criminal groups in Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Rivers, Imo, Anambra, Plateau, Nasarawa, and Benue/ Taraba axis, including the notorious criminal syndicate led by Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana in Benue State.
He said: “Recent intelligence indicated that Abbey moved arms and ammunition from Konduga in Borno State into Taraba State through his driver, Saviour.It may be noted that subject has entrenched his criminal activities in different parts of the country and as earlier mentioned, has clients especially in Plateau, Ebonyi, Cross River, Enugu and Bayelsa states, among others.
Indications are that he sources arms from the Republic of Cameroon and parts of the North-East of Nigeria.” Opuiyo said a similar operation by the tactical team on Thursday, about 5a.m., at Chiwarna Hotel, Angwan Rogo by Bauchi Road, Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State led to the arrest of a high profile kidnap kingpin, Lawal Ibrahim aka Alhaji Awalu.
Ibrahim was arrested with two members of his syndicate – Ado Saleh and Bayero Adamu. The syndicate was reportedly responsible for the murder of a DSS official, Daanan Balgnan, on December 30, 2017 and was involved in other high profile kidnap incidents in Plateau and neighbouring Nasarawa, Kaduna and Bauchi states. The DSS also recovered N1.5 million from the suspects.
The money, according to Opuiyo, is part of the N2 million ransom, which the syndicate collected from Ayuba Gamale, an employee of Industrial Training Fund (ITF), whose two abducted family members were released on Wednesday. The DSS said other members of the syndicate were still being hunted.
“The arrest of these suspects is significant for two different but related reasons. In the first case, the arrested kidnap kingpin, Ibrahim, is adjudged the most dangerous in Plateau State, as he is known to be principally responsible for recent kidnap incidents in the state.
This arrest would be a great plus in the fight against these criminal gangs. “In the case of Jonah Idi, his arrest would greatly degrade and disrupt the booming illicit arms supply business, which up till now has sustained the crisis in Taraba, Benue, Plateau and Nasarawa states,” Opuiyo said.
He added that earlier on March 7, about 12.23 a.m., around International Market, off George Akume Road, Makurdi, Benue State, DSS operatives arrested a top commander of the Terwase Akwaza aka Ghana-led criminal gang identified as Sesugh Aondoseer.