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NSCDC arrests 42 suspected bandits disguised as miners in FCT

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested 42 suspected bandits and terrorists disguised as miners, heading to Kwali Area Council of the nation’s capital.

Parading the suspects at the command headquarters on Wednesday, February 14, 2024, the Commandant, Olusola Odumosu, said the suspects were arrested on Monday in Niger State with the help of credible intelligence and in collaboration with the 176 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army.

“Acting on credible intelligence and in collaboration with the 176 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army, 42 suspected bandits and terrorists operating under the cover of being miners of solid minerals have been arrested.

According to Odumosu, preliminary investigation by the Corps Intelligence Unit revealed that they may not be miners as they claimed to be, but suspected bandits fleeing the ongoing military onslaughts in Zamfara State through the forest zone of Niger State into the FCT through Gwagwalada Area Council, enroute Pai village of Kwali Area Council.

He further revealed that their suspicion was further cleared when in the course of their interrogation, the suspects could not name their mining site or the company name they allegedly worked for.

The FCT Commandant of the NSCDC further recalled that he had as part of response to the ultimatum given to heads of security agencies by the Minister of FCT, Chief Nyesom Wike, to protect the nation’s capital, summoned heads of the Command’s Intelligence team, area commanders and all divisional officers of the Corps to a meeting to review their strategies.

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“I gave a fresh charge to the officers and men to step up their game against criminal elements within our Territory using intelligence gathering,” he said.

“Further investigation revealed that this group of young men have been operating within Zamfara, Kogi and Niger States. At the time they were intercepted, they had no evidence to show they were going on mining activities which suggest they have a sinister agenda

“They have also confessed to having sponsors, however, investigation in that regard is still ongoing and you will be intimated when it is concluded.”

He said the suspects have been cooperating with the Corps by giving useful information that will help determine their level of involvement in banditry and kidnapping activities in the FCT.

Odumosu assured that when investigations were concluded and their level of involvement in crime is determined, necessary further actions will be taken.

“In the same vein, our operational synergy with the men of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) led to the arrest of one Bartholomew Anthony, a male, 27-yeaar-old from Kaura local government area of Kaduna State,” he said.

According to the FCT Commandant, the suspect (Bartholomew Anthony) was arrested at the Mabushi axis of the FCT with exhibits such as; pieces of Armoured cables, 1 hacksaw, 1 Jack knife, 1 Techno Bolton handset and twenty (N20,000) thousand naira cash.

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“The suspect has made useful statement that led our operatives to arrest three of his other accomplices: Hakilu Muhammed ”M” 25 year-old from Niger State, Abdulrahaman Abbas “M” 30 year-old from Unguwan Sarki, Paiko LGA, Niger State, and Samaila Promise “M” 20-year-old from Karim Lamido LGA, Taraba State.

“All four arrested suspects belong to a syndicate that specialised in vandalisation and theft of armoured cables in the FCT.

“The suspects through our discreet investigators, belong to a vigilante group and hence use their purported membership of the security outfit to commit heinous acts. We have profiled them and their statements obtained, they will soon be arraigned in court for justice to prevail.”

“I want to assure the residents of the FCT that we will not rest on our oars until we rid the FCT of all criminal elements that want to make the FCT unsafe for habitation.

“I want to also appeal to the general public to report all suspicious persons, as security is everyone’s business,” Odumosu concluded.

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