Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja
The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Bello DanHajiya, the second-in-command to Khalid Al-Barnawi, the mastermind of the bombing of the UN Building in Abuja and other blasts across the northern part of the country.
Briefing the media on the recent successes recorded by the service, Garba Abdullahi, on behalf of Tony Opuiyo of the DSS, said the service also arrested some fraudsters and impersonators of top echelons in Nigeria.
He said: “You may recall that last week, this service informed the public of the arrest of Khalid Al-Barnawi, known for his leadership and notoriety in terrorism activities in Nigeria. Nigerians were also informed of his talent-spotting and recruitment of young people into the Ansaru/Boko Haram terrorist groups. With the arrest of Al-Barnawi, the DSS has made an uncommon success in the decimation of these groups and their leadership. Similarly, the Service wish to inform that it has further arrested Danhajiya, a close associate and presumed second-in-command to Al-Barnawi.”
Danhajia, according to the DSS, is a Fulani from Zamfara State and a strategic accomplice of Al-Barnawi and that preliminary investigations have disclosed his involvement in gun-running, cattle rustling and other nefarious criminal activities principally on the directives of his commander, Al-Barnawi.
The Service said so far, efforts were being made to conclude the investigations and commence prosecution in line with the law.
Abdullahi said in another development, the service, worried by the spate of impersonation of government officials and the increasing rate of defrauding of unsuspecting members of the public by some unscrupulous elements, launched detailed investigations aimed at checking the situation and has arrested five suspects in connection with the crime.
They are Aminu Ado (aka Yusha’u Muhammed Yerima Adam), David Ali Michika, Umar Hamza, James Malu Akune and Kazeem Kayode Usman.
Aminu Ado, according to Abdullahi, was arrested on March 24, 2016, at Keffi, Nasarawa State, and confessed to defrauding General T.Y. Danjuma (rtd) of N1million in 2015 and wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor of N300,000 in collaboration with one Hajia Aisha (FNU), who impersonated the wife of former Gombe State Governor, Danjuma Goje.
The DSS representative also said he confessed to defrauding members of the public by claiming to be the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the President and that further investigation revealed that Ado had the mobile phone numbers of all the Federal Executive Council (FEC) members, some state governors, their wives and aides as well as that of prominent Nigerians and military and police officers.
He said 43-year-old David Ali Michika from Jimeta, Adamawa State, but resides at Ungogo Local Government Area of Kano State, once lived in Riyad, Saudi Arabia for ten years as an illegal immigrant until he was deported in 2008.
He was said to have been arrested in Kano for impersonating the Secretary to the Government of The Federation (SGF) and had called several high ranking Government officials soliciting for funds to settle spiritualists (Mallams) for prayers rendered for the success of the APC in the 2015 general election and for peace in the nation.
Abdullahi also said Umar Hamza, a 39-year-old school teacher from Tarauni Local Government Area of Kano State, was recruited by Michika to act as the spiritualist based in Niger Republic to be paid for the service rendered. He received calls from the victims while pretending to be the spiritualist.
Although he vehemently denied being a criminal, the DSS insisted that James Malu Akune, a 40-year-old male from Tarka Local Government Area of Benue State, who claimed to be a contractor with business interests in China and USA, is a fraudster.
“He paraded himself as the brother to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and defrauded people on false promises of contracts. He equally arranged to get contract for companies from the Victim Support Committee for the North-east, headed by General Danjuma. Before his arrest, Akune called contractors and promised them appointments with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs,” Abdullahi said.
Kazeem Kayode Usman, who expressed shock when the DSS read out his offence, could not hold his emotion as he shouted at the top of his voice that he never knew anything about his alleged crime.
The DSS had said he was arrested in Lagos on April 12, 2016, and has been on the trail of security agencies for the impersonation of Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to the President.
“It is instructive to note that these suspects opened and operated bank accounts through which they collected various sums of money from their victims. A major revelation to this effect is the haste with which banks opened accounts for prospective customers without ascertaining their genuine personal details. Another noticeable trend is the spread of impersonators who adopt different illegal means to defraud their victims. The public is to take note of this trend and report such suspicion persons to appropriate security agencies.
“This service wish to re-emphasize its commitment to the safety of all law abiding citizens and residents and will continue to decisively deal with those who have chosen to be on the wrong side of the law,” Abdullahi warned.