The bloodthirsty reign of Abdullahi and his cohorts has come to an end as they were recently captured by the anti-robbery squad of the Nasarawa State Police Command.
◗ Police nab notorious cop-killer gang
◗ Apprehend a squad of kidnappers
For quite some time, Saidu Alihedi Abdullahi and his eight-man robbery gang embarked on unrestrained robbery and killing spree. During their reign of terror, the gang killed 15 passengers and raped countless women into the bargain at different locations along Wamba/Akwanga road, Nasarawa State. The gang is especially adept at killing policemen. So far, they had terminated the lives of no less than 10 policemen.
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The good news is that the bloodthirsty reign of Abdullahi and his cohorts has come to an end as they were recently captured by the anti-robbery squad of the Nasarawa State Police Command.
End of the road for a gang of cop killers
Commissioner of Police, Mr Yahaya Bello told Saturday Sun the suspect Saidu Alihedi Abdullahi, 32, and his gang, including his younger brother, Hodi Alihedi Abdullahi, specialized in stalking and shooting policemen at checkpoints and patrol.
On July 15, 2018, the gang ambushed a team of policemen led by ASP Sati Ages. The patrol team from Wamba Police Division engaged the outlaws in a shootout that claimed the life of Hodi Alihedi Abdullahi. However, ASP Ages was killed in the exchange of fire and his rifle, breech No. 081366286 taken away by the robbers.
Two days later, on July 17, the gang was back on the prowl. They opened fire on a team of policemen in Lafia East and killed Inspector Matthew Yakubu. Again, they lost one of their members in the exchange, but they successfully took away one AK 47 rifle with breech No. 07726 and nine rounds of 7.62mm.
In succession, the gang killed two other policemen including an Inspector of IGP IRT team at a checkpoint in Nasarawa and another police victim at a checkpoint in Akwanga. In the following days, they robbed commuters on the Kadarko-Makurdi road, killing a few and raping others.
But on August 9, 2018, they ran out of luck, when a combined team of SARS operatives, CTU and policemen from Kadarko stormed their hideout and arrested Saidu Abdullahi and five of his fellow robbers, identified as Victor Lorja, 21, Godwin Uper, 22, Aza Victor, 21, Timbee Nicholas, 21, and 15-year-old Grace Onyityo.
Arms recovered from the robbers include the two AK47 rifles they snatched from slain policemen, one FNC rifle and a collection of 30, six and nine rounds of 7.62mm.
This is the story Abdullahi, the gang leader, told Saturday Sun.
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“I am from Kokona L.G.A of Nasarawa State. I am a cattle rearer, looking after my father’s herd. Myself––and later, Hodi, my brother–– and eight others, all of us cattle rearers turned to armed robbery. We specialized in killing policemen at checkpoints. So far, we killed over 10 policemen and robbed 15 passengers on Kadarko to Mukurdi and Lafia to Akwanga roads. We first robbed along Makurdi expressway and killed passengers and a policeman. We took his rifle and used it for another operation at a different place in Lafia.”
Of the teenage girl among them, he said: “Grace befriended one of our members who is now at large. She cooked for us.”
In summarizing the gang’s nefarious activities, Abdullahi said, “we robbed, we raped and we killed passengers.”
A harvest of kidnappers
Security operatives continued the clean-up in Nasarawa with the August 2 nabbing of 17 suspected kidnappers who hitherto terrorized Udege communities.
SARS operatives led by Supol Cletus Anuforo rounded-up the suspects in the forest around the mountain in Mararaba Udege in Nasarawa Local Government, a place that had attained notoriety as the den of kidnappers where over 15 victims had been raped in recent past.
Kidnapping in the area started in 2017. The gang’s modus operandi was simple. They abducted those travelling along Udege and Mbeki village and took their victims into the forest in Udege. They usually demanded a ransom that ranged between N150, 000 and N250,000. Relatives of the hostages were allowed to negotiate the ransom to as low as N100, 000, depending on their financial capacity. Usually, victims were held hostage for about three to five days.
Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Investigation Department Mr Muhammed Akeera added that the kidnappers had raped victims in their custody. “They kidnapped raped female victim severally depending on how long it took their relatives to pay their ransom,” he said.
Of the six victims rescued during the raid, he said: “Immediately, we rescued them, we took them for rehabilitation and released them to their parents.”
The suspects are Adeh Musa, 22, Philibus Amos, 21, Aboshi Azamu, 26, and Keka Owuna, 26. Others are Abdulrasheed Amos, 23, Ikpe Ekpo, 19, Owuna Odula, 20, Osu Azamu, 22. The rest are Salisu Ekpeji, 18, John Owuna, 20, Mohammed Ahmed, 22, Moses Aminu, 28, Musa Shehu, 31, Sunday Agbewu, 25, Abdullahi Adamu, 16, and Ewolo Odeh, 22.
Two locally made revolvers, some charms, wraps of Indian hemp, one knife and two cutlasses were recovered from the gang.
One of the suspects, Adeh Musa told Saturday Sun: “We kidnapped two victims in January 2018 and took them into the forest in Udege. We demanded N250, 000, but their relatives paid N150, 000. The victims only spent four days in our custody before they were released.”
Suspects Aboshi Azamu and Ikpe Ekpo narrated how they kidnapped one victim and took him into the bush mountain and in the end, her relatives paid only N100, 000 for her release.
Musa Shehu and Sunday Agbewu also recounted the kidnapping of an Igbo man from Udege/Mbeki village from whose relatives they collected a ransom of N250, 000.
“Later we kidnapped a lady and raped her in our hideout until her relative brought the sum of N150, 000. We dropped her by the riverside of the forest,” Shehu confessed.
Agbewu added: “Sometimes we don’t release female victims on time. We kept them to keep us company in the bush.”
A faction of the group, comprised of eight members, was responsible for the abduction of two Chinese from the site of Redstone Mining Company in Jidda district of Wamba Local Government Area.
The Chinese, rescued by an anti-kidnapping team led by Supol Mohammed Nasir, have been handed over to Zhilin Pang, the company’s chairman. According to Commissioner of Police Yahaya Bello, the suspects will soon be docked in court once the on-going investigation is concluded.