Troops of Operation Safe Haven Neutralise 4 Suspected Bandits, Arrest 17 Others, Rescue Kidnapped Victims in Plateau

Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), maintaining peace in Plateau and parts of Bauchi and Kaduna States, have killed four suspected bandits and arrested 17 others over various crimes within its areas of responsibility.

Capt. James Oya, the Media Officer of the operation, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Jos.

Oya said the arrested suspects were apprehended over kidnapping, murder, violent attacks on communities, and illicit drug peddling, among others.

He explained that the suspects were arrested during a special operation conducted by its troops between Oct. 29 and Nov. 5.

“Troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) on Operation HAKORIN DAMISA IV from 29 October to 5 November 2023, neutralised suspected bandits and arrested 19 suspects in connection with kidnapping, criminal attacks, cattle rustling, armed robbery, farm destruction, theft as well as recovered arms/ammunitions and illicit drugs. 

"On 29 October 2023, based on credible information, troops arrested two suspected drug dealers, Mr Obinna Nwafor and Fatai Lawal at Kujiya Market Bukuru in Jos South LGA, Plateau State. During the arrest, troops recovered 1 locally fabricated rifle. Suspects are being profiled for further action. 

Similarly, on 30 October 2023, troops of Sector 7 OPSH arrested a suspected kidnapper, Bawa Ahmad at Kamuru village in Zango Kataf LGA of Kaduna State and recovered one locally fabricated rifle with cartridges in his possession. 

In a related development, on 1 November 2023, troops arrested two motorcycle snatchers, Samaila Nasiru, Bashir Sani at Riyom general area, Plateau State. In the same vein, on 3 November 2023, troops arrested Mr Suleimanu Audu at Gidan Auta village in connection with kidnapping and raping of 2 victims on 24 September 2023. 

Additionally, on 3 November 2023, based on credible information, troops of Sector 4 OPSH arrested Sarajo Adam, a notorious armed robber, at Kwog village in Barkin Ladi LGA. The arrested robber has been on the wanted list of security agencies for several robbery activities in Barkin Ladi general area and environs. 

On 30 October 2023, based on credible information, troops arrested three suspects, Ibrahim Mohammed, Salisu Abdullahi and Idris Abdullahi in connection with the attack on farmers at Mai Hakorin Gold village in Bokkos LGA, Plateau State. Similarly, troops arrested three suspects, David Emmanuel, Moses Dalyop and Gabriel Davou in connection with the murder of a commercial motorcyclist, Abdulkarim Saidu, at Shonong village in Riyom LGA, Plateau State. The suspects were arrested at Fang village in Riyom LGA on 30 October 2023. Suspects led troops to recover the corpse of the murdered motorcyclist. 

On 4 November 2023, troops arrested Mr Abdullahi Abubakar Lawyer at Rimin Zayam village in Toro LGA of Bauchi State in connection to the killing of own Mobile Police personnel on 2 November 2023 at Kuba village in Bokkos LGA.The suspect equally admitted to being involved in kidnapping activities and other sundry crimes with other gang members. 

Based on his confessional statement, on 5 November 2023, troops conducted raid operations at Kambal and Hurti villages in Bokkos LGA and arrested Yakubu Saidu and Nasiru Mohammed in connection with the crime. Items recovered include 233 rounds of 7.62mm special, one Techno mobile phone, one Itel mobile phone and one motorcycle. 

On 30 October 2023, troops rescued one Ms Abigail Felix earlier kidnapped on 28 October 2023, at Angwan Malam village in Sanga LGA of Kaduna State. The victim has since been reunited with her family. Also, on 1 November 2023, troops in conjunction with Civilian Joint Task Force rescued two kidnapped victims at Zobolo general area in Jos North LGA of Plateau State.

Similarly, on 4 November 2023, following the kidnap of Reverend Father Andrew Anana in his residence at Saint Francis Catholic Church Godo Godo district in Jema’a LGA of Kaduna State, troops conducted a search operation and rescued the victim unhurt. Two suspects in connection with the kidnap, Isia Etopia and Musa Opisa confessed to the crime. 

n 30 October 2023, troops of Sector 7 OPSH arrested one Alhaji Ya’u Baba for deliberate destruction of farmlands at Jagindi Tasha village in Jema’a LGA of Kaduna State. Also, on 2 November 2023, troops arrested two suspects, Edward Dauda and Pam John for attack on a herd of cattle leading to the killing of a cow at Sot Gyel community in Jos South LGA. 

Additionally, on 2 November 2023, troops apprehended 50 cows for grazing on farmlands at Kwi village in Riyom LGA of Plateau State. Furthermore, on 4 November 2023, troops recovered 5 cows earlier rustled at Shemlang village in Mangu LGA. The said cows were recovered at Sabon-Gari general area of Mangu LGA. 

On 1 November 2023, troops neutralised two bandits at Dutse village in Zangon Kataf LGA of Kaduna State. Similarly, on 2 November 2023, two terrorists, Buwa Tafawa and Gyang Yusuf, were neutralized around Tafawa village in Barkin Ladi LGA of Plateau State. Also, on 3 November 2023, troops in conjunction with vigilante members foiled an attempted attack on Kuba village in Bokkos LGA of Plateau State by unidentified gunmen, and neutralised one of the attackers in the process, while others fled with gunshot wounds. 

Within the week, Operation SAFE HAVEN secured the conviction of two suspects, Mr Azi Ashom Abubakar also known as Danladi Irimiya and John Itse, who were charged with unlawful possession of firearms. The suspects pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 2 years imprisonment each with an option of fine. 

A total of 19 suspects were arrested in connection with various crimes. Three were arrested for kidnapping while 4 were arrested for murder. Four suspects were arrested in connection with attacks on villages and 2 for illicit drug peddling while 4 bandits were neutralised. Also, 4 victims were rescued from kidnappers, while 6 attacks on vulnerable communities were deterred and 13 distress calls responded to. 

The Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN, Major General AE Abubakar, reiterates the resilience of OPSH while encouraging the populace in Plateau, Southern Kaduna and Bauchi States for the continued support to troops. All arrested suspects in custody would be charged to court accordingly once investigations are duly concluded

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