Police Kill Mastermind of UBEC Chairman’s Kidnap, Arrest Eight Kidnappers

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The Nigerian Police weekend shot dead the kidnapper who masterminded the recent kidnap of Chairman of the Universal Basic Education  Commission (UBEC), Alhaji Mahmood Abubakar, along  Abuja-Kaduna highway.

The suspect, Sumaila Sule, alias Shaho, was killed during a fierce encounter between his gang and police operatives attached to ‘Operation Puff  Adder,’ recently launched to contain kidnapping and armed banditry on Abuja-Kaduna highway.

An update on the war against armed banditry and Kidnapping provided by Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, said the suspect who was one of the most wanted kidnappers terrorising Nigerians in Kaduna and surrounding towns, was killed during a shootout with the police.

He said eight kidnappers were arrested in Kaduna and Adamawa states within the last 24 hours while four AK 47 rifles and  26 live ammunition were recovered.

“A kidnapping kingpin and notorious armed robber, who recently masterminded the kidnap of the UBEC Chairman along Abuja- Kaduna road is dead.

“The suspect, one Sumaila Sule, alias Shaho male (estimated be in his mid-30’s a native of Rijana village in Kachia LGA of Kaduna State, was one of the most vicious and most wanted kidnappers that has been terrorising citizens in Kaduna and its environs.

“He died in the early hours of May 18, 2019 following multiple bullet wounds he sustained during a deadly shootout with police operatives attached to Operation Puff Adder,” he said.

Giving further details, Mba said “the shootout took place in the evening of May 17, 2019, at the outskirts of Rijana village.

“The police operatives, in line with the mandate of Operation Puff Adder, were carrying out routine surveillance and raid of suspected criminal hide-outs, when they suddenly came under gun fire attack from a heavily armed criminal gang”.

He said “the police team fought back gallantly, repelling the attack and eventually bringing Shaho down, while his gang members fled. Shaho was rushed to hospital, where he eventually died the next day”.

The Police spokesman said subsequent follow-up operations led to the arrest  of the notorious Kidnapper’s gang members.

The arrested gang members include Musa Hassan, 26 years;  Yau Umar, 25 years; Umar Musa, 22 years and Muhammad Sani, 28 years , all males and natives of Rijiana Village Kachia LGA Kaduna State.

“Shaho and his gang members have been on the radar of the intelligence community for a while, as they have been implicated in several high-level kidnappings and other heinous crimes along Kaduna-Abuja road and beyond,” the statement said.

In another operation, a combined team of Operation Puff Adder operatives, comprising of the IG’s Response Team, the Technical Intelligence Unit, the Police Mobile Force and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad  arrested another set of kidnappers who have been terrorising citizens at Mubi axis of Adamawa State.

One AK 47 rifle and 26 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the gang.

The suspects arrested are: Umaru Ibrahim  native of Yadi Buni, Yobe State; Abdul Maina, a native of Maiha in Adamawa State and Mohammed Abubakar, a native of Buni Yadi Yobe State.

Police said the suspects have all confessed to participating in numerous kidnapping and armed robbery operations within Adamawa State, including the kidnap and collection of a ransom of seven million naira from one Mallam Abdulahi Umoru of Hong LGA.

Mba said investigations into these cases were ongoing, while efforts aimed at arresting other members of the gangs still at large were being intensified.