Samuel Asuquo, an alleged ringleader of a syndicate responsible for the abduction of three Australians, has been arrested, the State Security Service said Sunday.
Mr. Asuquo was arrested in Nasarawa Bakoko Village in southern Nigerian state of Cross River on August 22, the SSS said in a statement signed by its spokesman, Tony Opuiyo.
The three Australians were abducted on June 22 from a worksite while working for Lafarge Cement Company near Calabar, the state capital. The police said their driver was fatally shot.
The expatriates, said to be miners, regained freedom on June 26 after their employer paid a ransom of N150 million, the SSS said.
Similarly, three members of a kidnap gang said to have terrorised travellers along Abuja-Kaduna Highway for a long time were arrested by operatives on August 30th in Lafia, Nasarawa State.
The suspects included Bamaiyi Mustapha, Aminu Isa and Hasan Shehu and they were said to have recently kidnapped five women and collected about 13 million as ransom.
Mr. Opuiyo said the three were apprehended while plotting a “high-profile kidnap in Abuja.”
During a joint-operation with the Nigerian Army in Kano State, the SSS said two suspected Boko Haram elements were arrested for terrorism.
Ibrahim Abubakar and Idris Audu, whom SSS said are experts in manufacturing improvised explosive devices, were arrested while planning to gain admission into the Nigerian Army as a recruit.
The SSS further stated that two suspected impersonators, Taiye Alade and Ajoke Kolawole, were arrested in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on August 28 at a hotel in the city after cloning the phone number of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC to perpetrate criminal acts.
The SSS did not clarify if the cloned number belonged to the new GMD of NNPC that was appointed by President Buhari in June or his predecessor, Ibe Kachikwu.
Mr. Opuiyo, therefore, “assured all law abiding citizens and residents that the SSS will not rest on its oars in its determination to ensure a safe environment for all to carry out their legitimate business” while calling on “members of the public to support this effort by providing useful information to security agencies.”