The Benue Police Command on Thursday paraded 17 suspects over alleged robbery, illegal possession of firearms, rape, kidnapping, theft and phone snatching.
The Commissioner of Police in Benue Omololu Bishi, told newsmen in Makurdi, that the command apprehended eight armed robbery suspects with firearms, military uniforms and a police uniform on Jan. 8.
Bishi said the suspects had been terrorising motorists on Otupko/Enugu Federal highway.
He listed the suspects as; Idoko Oche also known as Oracle 27 (gang leader), Agwu Godwin 25, John Abah 29, Agnes Emmanuel 23, David Ocheme 24, Edward Ocheme 29, Joel John 24, Monday Totimi 23.
Bishi said the suspects were apprehended following a tip-off from informants that hoodlums who had been terrorizing motorist, dressed in military uniforms, were planning to perpetrate their acts on Otukpo-Enugu highway.
They were also alleged to be notorious for diverting luxury buses to the bush to rob passengers.
He said following the tip off, a team of operatives stormed the area, where the suspects were arrested.
He explained that at their hideout at No.48 Agida Street, Otukpo, upon sighting the officers, the suspects opened fire on them and two of the hoodlums died during the gun battle, while eight were arrested.
He said they were found with 1 SMG rifle, one locally fabricated berretta pistol, one locally fabricated double barrel revolver gun, 16 rounds of live ammunition, 11 rounds of live cartridges, and six pairs of Military Camouflage uniforms with various name tags.
Other items found on them were; six Military Camouflage T-Shirts, one pair of Police uniform, three pairs of jungle boots, two military face caps, one face mask, two pairs of elbow guards, one black Police belt, 21 different handsets, one knee guard and one LG television.
The commissioner also said on Jan. 20, some armed robbers criminally trespassed into a compound at new city, Zaki Biam, robbed their victims of money, handsets and thereafter, raped a 50 year old woman.
He said following the swift response by Police Operatives in the area, one Terdue Tivkaa 20, Tarvershima Fazanga 19, and Solomon (gang leader now deceased).
Bishi said they were arrested with one locally fabricated pistol, one live cartridge, 2 cutlasses, 2 handsets and one axe.
He said the suspects had all confessed to the crime.
Bishi also disclosed that two notorious armed robbery suspects Idris Abdullahi and Patrick Paye, now at large, of Wadata, Makurdi, were arrested on Jan. 20 with a locally fabricated pistol and one live ammunition after robbing a victim on Jan 19, of a phone and money in Makurdi.
He also said the suspects had confessed to the crime.
He explained that the command had on Jan. 17, apprehended three suspects, who were members of a phone snatching syndicate, following a report by one Joseph Terka of Amedu Kumae Road, Makurd.
He said the suspects; Yusuf Mohammed 19, Abdul Sani 26, and Hassan Gowon 24, were arrested with one locally fabricated pistol and a red Honda motorcycle.
Bishi said that the command further arrested four persons in connection with a violent protest that took place in Gboko Local Government Area on Tuesday.
The Commissioner warned all those in possession of prohibited firearms to surrender them to the nearest Police Station or face the full wrath of the law.
The commissioner said that the police would continue to partner the public in the discharge of its responsibilities; and also pledged the protection of identity of informants.