The Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Kogi State Police Command had a good reason to smile when it made a big haul and arrested over 25 suspected Fulani kidnappers and robbers who operated along Osara-Lokoja Expressway, Kogi State under the cover of herding cattle for free range grazing.
Kogi Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu who disclosed this to Insidestory, commended the Commander of SARS, Supol Bimbo Oyewole and his operatives, who stormed the hideout of the Fulani herdsmen at Itobe in Ofu and Adogo axis of Ajaokuta Local Government Areas, Kogi state respectively.
Also, he said that SARS operatives arrested the alleged kingpin armed robbers and kidnappers in the area, Olobo Abdul with 10 members of his gang, who operate Auchi-Okechi West and Osara-Lokoja Road.
According to Inalegwu, the gang kidnapped a foreigner in January 2017, and held him hostage in the bush until N1 million was paid to them as ransom.
The CP said that the Fulani gang had June 3, 2017 attacked a passenger bus along the Osara-Lokoja and took some of the female passengers to their hideout in the bush, where they raped them and also collected N500,000 as ransom. They kidnapped and robbed another set of bus passengers along the Kabba-Shokoshoko road. They held the passengers for three days, collected N1 million as ransom and raped the female victims.
Inalegwu further revealed that the Fulani kidnappers and robbers masquerading as herdsmen also abducted a man in Okene. They took the sum of N400,000 from the victim and held him for seven days before he was released.
In the course of investigation, the SARS operatives arrested 23-year-old Abubakar Bamo and Mohammed Sani, 25, who conspired to abduct one Alhaji Buba at Adogo axis and he paid N1 million ransom after spending several days in the custody of the kidnappers. The gang led the duo of Bamo and Sani were alleged to have terrorized the entire community of Adogo in Ajaokuta and Itobe in Ofu Local Government Areas, Kogi State.
Inalegwu stated that the SARS team made another breakthrough in May 2017 when it arrested Lawal Suleman Amodu and his gang. He said that the gang had abducted over 10 victims and killed policemen on duty and stole their AK 47 rifles.
However, he made heartwarming revelation that SARS operatives recovered police AK 47 rifles and ammunition as well as pump-action guns. In the ensuing exchange of gunshots between the police and the Fulani gang, one of the members, Abubakar Mohammed, escaped to their camp in Obajana with bullet wounds, where a nurse, Taiwo Oladiran, treated him and extracted bullets from his body and was paid N30,000. Luck however ran out on her and she was later arrested following a tip off. In a brief chat , she said: “I have been treating Fulani herdsmen whenever they were shot by policemen. I will go and treat them in the Fulani camp at Obajana, Kogi State.”
On his part, Abubakar Mohammed said: “We are cattle rearers but we have robbed several bus passengers along Okene, Osara/Lokoja and collected all their money. We kidnapped some of them and held them in the bush, where we raped the female passengers. There was a time the police killed a member of our gang, but we re-grouped and started kidnapping anybody we saw in the bush in Itobe and Adogo communities. We also raped the female victims working in the farms.”
Bamo and Sani who are being held at the SARS headquarters told Insidestory that took special interest in killing policemen on duty and taking away their AK 47 rifles which they used to carry out their operations.
Inalegwu assured that the command would not rest on its oars. Rather it would continue to prosecute the renewed war against kidnappers and armed robbers.
He said after investigations the suspects in custody would be charged to court. He urged the people of Kogi to provide the police with useful information to enable it combat Fulani kidnappers and robbers more effectively.