Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) has arrested 10 suspected criminals who engaged in kidnapping, cattle rustling, and illegal arms manufacturing.
Parading the suspects at the OPWS headquarters in Makurdi yesterday, the commander, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini, said that six of the suspects were arrested in Nasarawa State and four in Benue State.
Yekini said, “Three weeks ago, we had a briefing during which eight suspects were paraded. This afternoon, 10 new suspects are being paraded for armed banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling in Benue and Nasarawa states.”
The suspects include Seidu Muhammadu, a kidnap kingpin, and cattle rustler along with two of his accomplices. Moses Dzever, a member of a notorious gang and one other member were also nabbed.
Shekwa Terna, who was also paraded, confessed that he went into arms manufacturing about five years ago after learning the craft from his elder brother.
A kidnap victim (name withheld), who was rescued from Muhammadu and his gang, told newsmen how he was abducted from his house at Lapai in Niger State and kept in the forest for one week before he regained his freedom.
“Seidu (Muhammadu) and his gang came to abduct my elder brother in my house, but he was not around. When I came out and told them that I was his younger brother, they decided to take me away into the forest.
“They then asked me for a ransom of N2.5 million. One week after I had been with them, they were taking me somewhere in town when they saw a vehicle coming and suspected it to be that of security forces, they took cover. It was at that point that I was able to escape.
“When I regained my freedom, I relocated to Toto in Nasarawa and was surprised to see Seidu and his gang in Toto,” he narrated.
Yekini said the spate of arms manufacturing in the country was fuelling criminal activities.
“The level of weapons proliferation across the country is alarming and we are doing our best to tackle it by targeting the manufacturers as a way of breaking the supply chain and reducing the weapons in circulation and criminality in the country.”