A man who allegedly masterminded the kidnap last month of the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and his daughter along the Abuja- Kaduna road has been shot dead during a shoot-out with the police.
Police spokesperson, Frank Mba, said this on Sunday.
The suspect, Sumaila Sule, alias Shaho, estimated to be in his mid-thirties, was a native of Rijana village in Kachia LGA of Kaduna State.
The police described him as “one of the most vicious and most wanted kidnappers that has been terrorising citizens in Kaduna and its environs.”
Mr Mba said the suspect died in the early hours of Saturday, following multiple bullet wounds he sustained during the shootout with police operatives attached to Operation Puff Adder.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the UBEC Chairman, Mahmood Abubakar, regained freedom in April alongside his daughter.
Both were kidnapped along the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
Mr Abubakar’s driver was shot dead during the encounter, which left their black Toyota SUV riddled with bullets.
The shootout took place in the evening of May 17 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,” Mr Mba said on Sunday.
“They suddenly came under gunfire attack from a heavily armed criminal gang. The police team fought back gallantly, repelling the attack and eventually bringing SHAHO down, whilst his gang members fled.
“Shaho was rushed to a hospital where he eventually died the next day.
“Meanwhile, acting on information elicited from the suspect before his death, police operatives, between the 18th and 19th of May 2019, carried out sweeping follow-up operations at different target locations.
“These coordinated operations led to the arrest of four other members of SHAHO’s gang and the recovery of three (3) AK 47 rifles.”
The police named the arrested suspects as Musa Hassan, 26; Yau Umar, 25; Umar MUSA, 22; and Muhammad Sani, 28; “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.
“They have been implicated in several high-level kidnappings and other heinous crimes along Kaduna-Abuja road and beyond.
“In a similar vein, a combined team of Operation Puff Adder operatives, comprising of the IGP Response Team, the Technical Intelligence Unit, the Police Mobile Force and the Special Anti Robbery Squad have arrested another set of kidnappers.
“They have been terrorising citizens at Mubi axis of Adamawa State. One AK 47 rifle and twenty-six (26) rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the gang.”
The police named the suspects as Umaru Ibrahim, a native of Buni Yadi, Yobe State; Abdul Maina, a native of Maiha Adamawa State; and Mohammed Abubakar, also a native of Buni Yadi, Yobe State.
The police said the suspects have confessed to participating in numerous kidnapping and armed robbery operations within Adamawa State, including the kidnap and collection of a ransom of N7 million from one Abdullahi Umoru of Hong LGA.
“Investigations into these cases are on-going, while efforts aimed at arresting other members of the gangs still at large are being intensified.
“While commending police operatives for their gallantry, as well as selfless service to the nation and humanity, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu has reassured Nigerians that the war against crimes and criminality will soon be won.”
The IGP called for continuous support for the police and other law enforcement agencies, promising that the security agencies will not rest on their oars till normalcy is restored in every part of Nigeria.