Operatives of the Nigeria Police Special Tactical Squad (STS) have apprehended a 28-year old female armourer, Fatima Garba, alongside her gang of kidnappers and armed robbers, notorious for allegedly attacking innocent Nigerians around Sokoto, Kebbi, Kaduna and Niger States.
According to a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja, DCP Frank Mba, as an armourer, Fatima was responsible for ensuring the safety of the weapons used by the gang whenever not in use.
The Police said Fatima, who confessed to being the gang’s armourer for over a year, claimed to receive a handsome reward each time the weapons were returned to her after each operation.
According to the Police, she acknowledged knowing that the arms which she usually kept in a neatly dug hole in her compound were used for robberies, kidnapping and other criminal purposes.
“Investigations show that Fatima, who is a trader and single mother of two was recruited by her boyfriend Abubakar Usman. Other members of the gang include: Samaila Usman ‘m’ aged 28, Mohammed Ibrahim ‘m’ aged 30, Mohammed Agali ‘m’ aged 22, Dahiru Bello ‘m’ aged 33, Shamsu Mohammed ‘m’ aged 30, Mohammed Usman ‘m’ aged 37, Umar Abdullahi ‘m’ 33, Buhari Abubakar ‘m’ aged 33 and Abubakar Garba ‘m’ aged 37. Since they began operations, the gang is estimated to have made over twelve million naira from their various criminal escapades.
“Recovered from the gang are five AK47 rifles, one G3 rifle, one Beretta pistol, 1476 rounds of ammunition, 36 rounds of G3 ammunition, 6 AK47 magazines, one operational vehicle, eight mobile phones and a box containing operational tools.
“All the suspects will be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations,” it read.
Also according to the statement, the Police had smashed a notorious two-man car stealing gang led by one 34-year old Bashir Isiaku, notorious for stealing cars from the car park of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH).
The arrest of Bashir, a graduate of one of the Federal Polytechnics, followed painstaking efforts and investigations by operatives of the STS to hunt down the criminals, the statement revealed.
The Police said Bashir and his accomplice, Aminu Yakubu, specialized in using the customized master key, crafted out of screwdriver to open and start vehicles.
Police investigations showed that the criminals’ choices of cars were ones without special security features such as pedal or steering locks, Mba said.
He disclosed that a total of twenty-one 21 vehicles have so far been recovered from the hoodlums and their criminal receivers.
The statement read, “The following criminal receivers have also been arrested: in Funtua – Rilwanu Garba, Ibrahim Hassan, Kabiru Aliyu, Sikiru Danjuma, Bashir Abba; in Sokoto – Dodo Danbello, Mudeen Adelera, Nasiru Bello, Hassan Bawa; in Kucheri – Magazine Garba; in Tsafe – Yushehu Abdullahi; in Gusau – Abdurazaq Adekoya; and in Marafa – Kabiru Aliyu.
“The recovered vehicles comprise 2 Opel Vectra, 1 Toyota Camry, 1 Honda CRV, 2 Toyota Carinae, 7 Golf-3, 1 Toyota Corolla, 6 Honda Civic and 1 Toyota Avensis. The suspects claimed that they found it easy to steal in JUTH due to the lax security at JUTH premises. Police investigations reveal that their choice cars are Toyota products, Honda products, and Volkswagen especially the Golf brand because these brand of cars are in high demand by criminal receivers, either in whole or in parts across the country and other neighboring countries.
“In the light of the above, members of the public whose cars were stolen between January 2019 and March 2020, within the premises of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) are advised to come forward for possible identification and recovery. Nigerians are equally enjoined to take extra measures to secure their cars by utilizing special security features such as steering or pedal locks, tracking systems, etc. In the same vein, institutions and organizations are encouraged to enhance security and access control within their premises to minimize the possibility of theft and other mischief by criminals.
“Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A. Adamu, NPM, mni assures Nigerians of the continued commitment of the Force to the protection of lives and property and rid the country of crime and criminality especially during this lockdown period.“