The Special Military Taskforce, Operation Save Haven, OPSH, maintaining peace in Plateau and part of Kaduna State, has arrested 25 suspects over alleged cattle rustling, kidnapping, armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms.
Others were apprehended over cult activities, gunrunning, banditry, terrorism, among other criminal activities.
Presenting the suspects to newsmen on Tuesday in Jos, Augustine Agundu, Commander of the Taskforce, said the arrests were part of the outfit’s mandate to ensure a peaceful and crime-free society.
According to Mr Agundu, the task force has adopted stringent measures in eradicating all threats to peace in Plateau, assuring that it would not rest on its oars to rid the state of all criminal elements.
Mr Agundu attributed the feat achieved in terms of crime fighting in the state to the resilience and commitment of the outfit’s officers and men, adding that the task force remained resolute in actualising its mandate.
“The stringent measures we have adopted have been attributed to curtailing and containing various criminal activities that had the propensity to derail the achievements attained so far across our area of operation.
“We remain resolute in the actualisation of the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, mandate of protecting lives and property, even in the face of obvious setbacks.
“We have remained consistent in conducting result-oriented operations on identified black spots and hideouts which led to the arrest of these high profiled criminals and their collaborators.
“These criminal elements being paraded before you today were apprehended under varying circumstances of their indulgence in acts inimical to peace, law and order across the state.
“We arrested them for offences ranging from kidnapping, cattle rustling, cult activities, terrorism, gunrunning, armed robbery, among others,” he said.
The commander revealed that the suspected cult members who belonged to Viking and Black Axe confraternity, were arrested at Abattoir and ECWA Staff communities of Jos South and Jos North local government areas of the state.
He further revealed that the suspected gunrunners were apprehended at their hideouts at Abattoir and Apata communities of Jos South and Jos North council areas.
Mr Agundu said that the suspected kidnapper who was arrested with N1.7 million in his possession, was nabbed by troops at Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
He said the suspected cattle rustlers were arrested separately at Foron in Barkin Ladi, Nkon and Kulben, in Mangu local government area of the state.
He also said that the arm robbery suspects were nabbed at Toro in Bauchi State, adding that the syndicate once attacked his troops in September 2019 and killed one of his soldiers at Kwanan-Fulani in Riyom Local Government Area of Plateau.
The commander, who thanked Plateau residents for supporting the task force in its bid to ensure a safer society, assured that the suspects would be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agencies for further action.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the suspects were presented to Journalists with various forms of arms and ammunition discovered in their possession during the arrests.