The Katsina state Police Command Sunday announced the rescue of six victims earlier abducted by terrorists Saturday night in Funtua local government area of the state.
The rescued persons were among the 19 worshippers kidnapped abducted by the terrorists around 7.40 pm same day in a mosque at Maigamji community in the local government area of the state.
The 19 victims were observing the late evening prayer (Isha’i) when the gunmen struck and instantly abducted them into the forest.
Some eyewitness accounts said the criminal elements had prior to the abduction, shot and wounded the Chief Imam leading the prayers and one other worshipper during the attack.
Blueprint’s checks revealed that two of the victims were rescued Saturday night and the four others early Sunday morning.
Confirming the development, police spokesman in the state, Gambo Isah, said: “It’s true the attack took place. The terrorists stormed the mosque at Maigamji while people were observing Isha’i prayers. They shot and injured the Imam and one other person. Those people are currently responding to treatment in the hospital.
“The terrorists also abducted some worshippers that night, but a combined team of the police and the vigilante rescued two of the victims that night. The security operatives also rescued four other victims on Sunday, making a total of six victims who have been rescued so far.
“Presently, 13 victims are still in the custody of the terrorists and our operatives are making serious efforts to ensure that they are rescued without any injury.”
And from Minna, Niger state, Blueprint reports that the police arrested four suspects for attempted armed robbery at the Minna residence of Senator Mohammed Sani Musa, a lawmaker on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It was gathered that the lawmaker came to the state for the coronation and presentation of staff of office to Emir of Kagara Alhaji Ahmed Garba Gunna, from where he returned to Abuja.
Although there were speculations that the suspected criminal elements had an assassination plan, the Police however dismissed such claim.
Spokesman of the state’s Police Command, Wasiu Abiodun, said this Sunday in a statement issued in Minna.
He dismissed online reports of assassination attempt on the lawmaker, describing it as “untrue and false.”
He said: “The fact of the incident is that on 03/12/2022 at about 1900hrs, based on a distress call received that some strange suspicious persons, driving a Toyota Sienna vehicle with Reg. No. FKJ 814 GP invaded the house of a Senator, located at Tudun-Wada, Minna,” the statement said.
Abiodun said the command immediately mobilised tactical teams to the scene and the following four suspects were arrested.
He listed the suspects as Oladele Peter Akano aged 49yrs ‘m’ of Kuruduma, Abuja, Abdul Salisu aged 31yrs ‘m’ of Gwagwalada, Abuja, Felix Clarkson aged 47yrs ‘m’ of Karo Abuja and Babagana Alhaji aged 39yrs ‘m’ of Chideri-Polo, Maiduguri
During interrogation, the command said, the suspects claimed they were mobilised by one Sherrif, a purported whistleblower who was reportedly claiming to be working with a security agency at Abuja but presently at large.
“The said Sherrif invited Akano, who is a teacher in a private school at Abuja. He also invited Clarkson, an instructor in a private institute ‘INSMO’ Abuja, Salisu who is a plumber from Gwagwalada, provided hammer and chisel for house breaking and Babagana Alhaji, with five others presently at large,” he said.
Wasiu said the suspects confessed further that Sherrif stated “there are foreign currency and arms kept in the residence of the politician, hence they travelled from Abuja to Minna for a purported execution of search without any warrant.”
However, on getting to the residence, the security operatives attached to the house suspected the fake team and raised the alarm for reinforcement.
He said Police operatives attached to Tudun-Wada Divison and anti-kidnapping team of the command were drafted to the scene.
“Four among the suspects were arrested with the said Toyota Sienna vehicle, while others took to their heels, on sighting the Police reinforcement teams,” the statement further said.
While stating that the suspects had since been transferred to the SCID Minna for discreet investigation, it said investigation was ongoing with a view to apprehending other members of the gang.
Meanwhile, a top Borno-based Boko Haram commander, Adamu Rugurugu, has led some of his co-fighters to surrender to the Nigerian Army.
The reason, Rugurugu said, was based on personal intervention of Governor Babagana Zulum and his security aide, Brigadier-General Abdullahi S. Ishaq (retd).
Speaking to journalists in one of the camps created for repentant terrorists, the ex-fighter said he realised he was on the wrong path after the governor’s intervention.
He said: “Yes, I am one of the Boko Haram commanders. I got the name Rugurugu which means no mercy from the battlefield.
“In the battlefield, I was very dangerous because I usually destroyed everything in my way. I was fearless. These scars and marks you are seeing all over me is due to the fact that I was fearless.
“The governor heard about me and knew that if I am persuaded to come out, many fighters will follow me and that is how we came out and surrendered.
“At this camp, I will say government and General Abdul Ishaq are doing a lot for us surrendered fighters. They convinced and assured me that if I abandoned this cause which is of no benefit, we will be catered for.
“Our women and children are well looked after. When anyone falls sick, we have medical people here to treat them.”