Molly Kilete, Abuja
The police force headquarters in Abuja, Thursday paraded three suspects said to be the mastermind in the kidnap of 136, students of Bethel Baptist school, in Kaduna State.
The suspects Adamu Bello, Isiaku Lawal and Muazu Abubakar, dressed in military camouflage were arrested by operatives of the Tactical Squad(STS). The suspects who confessed to the crime, said that 25 of them took part in the kidnap of the students from their hostel. They said they embarked on the deadly operation out of poverty.
The suspects were paraded by the force public relations officer Frank Mba.
One of the suspects, Abubakar said “twenty five of us carried out the operation. We kidnapped 136 students and I got N100,000 as my own share from the money.”
The Special Tactical Squad (STS) commanded by DCP Yusuf Kolo also arrested a fake army captain from
Nasarawa state, Monday Akawu who specialised in stealing musical instruments from churches in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Akawu, 39, and member of a dreaded criminal group who specializes in robbing churches, is said to have robbed over 16 churches within Nyanya and Karu axis of the federal capital territory, FCT.
Akawu, was paraded alongside his accomplice and buyer of the stolen church equipment, Joseph Orazulike, 35, resident of EFAB Estate, Maraba, Karu.
parading the suspects, Mba, said, the suspects have committed a “sacrilegious act” and thereby urged church leaders to provide “more security around their churches.”
Akawu confessed that, he has participated in the burglary of at least 16 churches located in Nasarawa and some parts of Abuja. He listed some of the churches he had robbed to include The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM).
When going for the operation, he said he usually dress in Army uniform for east passage beat security check points after each robbery.
According to him, “I am here because I stole from the church. I have so far stolen from sixteen churches, which includes Mountain of Fire and Redeemed Church of God.
“When I break into a church my boss taught me to bring those instruments out while a vehicle comes with Nigeria Army uniforms; I change into the uniform in order to bypass security on the road.
“I usually sell each piano keyboard between 60,000 to 90,000 naira depending on how neat they are.”
Also paraded was one Monday, an ex-convict who was jailed at Kuja Prison over a rape case while Joseph was also arrested before for receiving stolen items.
Briefing newsmen further on some of the recent operations and investigative breakthroughs by operatives of the special Tactical squad in Abuja, Mba said fifty suspects comprising 48 male and two females were arrested.
The suspects, he said have been indicted for different offences ranging from murder, kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery, car theft, illegal possessions of prohibited firearms, possession and distribution of illicit drugs among other offences established against them.
Mba, listed items recovered from the suspects to include: 26 assorted firearms, made up 13 AK 47 rifles, four soft machine guns, four locally made pistols, four dane guns, 2, 701 live ammunition of AK 47, 20 live GPMG ammunition, 12 Piano Keyboard and other electronic appliances stolen from churches.
The FPRO, who said investigations conducted so far showed how Monday Akawu, the principal suspect has had a long pathway with crime. He however assured that the suspect has reached the end of the road as the force would do everything possible within the law to ensure that he spent the remaining years in jail.
He called on Church leaders in Abuja and across the country to ensure physical security in and around their church premises. He said the suspect during interrogation told detectives that most churches do not have secure guards thus making their premises vulnerable for criminals to operate without confrontation.
He said “encourage church operators and leaders not just to provide human guards but also install cameras in their churches and ensure sufficient lighting in and around your churches.
“In addition, we are also calling on all church leaders in and around Abuja that might have been affected in recent time to visit STS office with means of identification to recover their stolen items.
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