The police have smashed the “deadliest and blood-thirsty” gang of kidnappers operating along Abuja-Kaduna highway.
Fifteen arrested members of the gang of kidnappers and armed robbers were in possession of firearms during the raids.
Commenting on the operation, super cop Abba Kyari said it was his happiest day since the arrest of Africa’s most notorious kidnapping kingpin, Evans.
“After weeks of unrelenting follow up and deploying advanced technology, IRT Special Teams deployed to Jigawa, Katsina, Niger and Kaduna States arrested the deadliest kidnapping group operating along Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway.
“This gang is responsible for the Killing of Barrister Sheriff Yazid On 17/9/17 and the kidnapping of his wife Jamila Yazid Along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway. They also collected ransom after committing the heinous act.
“15 Members of the deadly and blood thirsty kidnapping gang have been arrested, and several rifles, ammunition, military uniforms, charms, operational vehicle, etc were recovered.
“They confessed to the Killing of Barrister Sheriff Yazid and the kidnapping and killing of many Innocent Nigerians during their Operations,” Mr Kyari said.
Parading the kidnappers before journalists in Rijana, Kaduna State, spokesman for the Nigeria Police, Jimoh Moshood, said the first group of the suspects comprised six persons who killed a lawyer, Sheriiff Yazid, and kidnapped his wife along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.
He said the woman, who was released by the hoodlums after collecting a ransom, identified them.
The spokesperson said items recovered from the suspects included: one AK 47 rifle, a motorcycle used for carrying their victims, cutlasses, sticks and charms.
Mr Moshood said the second group of nine suspects was arrested on October 25 by the Special Intelligence Response Team after carrying out several operations.
He said items recovered from them included: AK 47 rifle, a pump action gun, a Toyota Hummer bus used for operation, pairs of military uniform, 20 rounds of AK 47 ammunition and cutlasses.
He said the suspects confessed to several kidnap and armed robberies along the Abuja-Kaduna- Kano highway.
“Investigation is being intensified to arrest other suspects at large. All suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigation,” he said.
He said that kidnappers on the road had adopted a new strategy by moving from Katsina, Sokoto and Kebbi to Kaduna to carry out their nefarious acts.
Mr Moshood said that the security operatives had also adopted new strategies which had resulted in the arrest of the suspects.
He said that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had directed Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, AIGs, and Commissioners of Police in zones and commands, to beef up security in their areas.
“The ongoing raids on criminal hideouts will be sustained throughout the country,” he said.
The force had on July 25 commenced ‘Operation Absolute Sanity’ on the highway to check the incessant cases of kidnap and armed robbery.
The operation complements the one on ground by now jointly carried out by the police and the military.
On July 31 the police arrested 31 suspects at Katari and 40 others on August 3 at Rijana both located along the highway.