By Friday Idachaba
The Police on Wednesday in Lokoja paraded 30 inter-state armed robbery and kidnap suspects terrorising Kogi and the neighbouring states.
Parading the suspects, the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood (CSP) said those arrested included some who allegedly kidnapped and killed an expatriate engineer with Dangote Cement Company.
Moshood said at the Kogi Police Command headquarters that the arrests were in response to the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris’ directive to rid the nation of crime.
“The IGP directed the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ali Said Hangs to quickly address armed robbery, kidnapping, social miscreants, cattle rustling, cultism on Auchi-Okene-Lokoja, Lokoja-Ajaokuta-Anyigba, Kabba-Oshokoshoko-Obajana highways.
“Effort of the commissioner and his team through vigour, dedication, utmost professionalism and passion for the job, led to the arrest of the 30 suspected criminals and recovery of several weapons, he said.
He said four of the suspects were alleged to have on Oct. 23, kidnapped an expatriate, Mr Jose Machada, a construction engineer with Dangote Cement Company, Obajana.
Moshood said that the suspects killed the expatriate when the ransom they demanded was not forthcoming.
“Police operatives attached to Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Kogi State Command, in synergy with the DSS promptly swung into action and arrested the four suspects,’’ he said.
He said one of the suspects killed a senior staff of Dangote Group of Companies, Istifanus Bello, for allegedly trying to shortchange his kidnap gang.
The company worker was said to have been killed for paying them N5 million instead of N7 million ransom for the release of another staff earlier abducted by the suspect and his gang.
The police image maker said two other suspects were arrested on Kano road, Idah, for terrorising the residents through cultism while another was arrested in Okene for kidnapping and cattle rustling.
He noted that during interrogation the suspects confessed to participating in the killing one Haruna Baso, a resident of Achoze, and carting away the cattle of the deceased.
Moshood listed items recovered from them to include, 11 AK-47 rifles, two Beretta pistols, two Revolver pistols, 334 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition, a dagger, a cutlass and military camouflage uniforms.
The force public relations officer said the suspects would soon be prosecuted and called on parents to monitor their wards.
He also appealed to the public to assist security agents with useful information to track down criminals.