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Banditry Financed Through Illegal Mining, Says Army

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The Nigeria Army on Tuesday said it has uncovered how illegal mining activities is being used to finance banditry in the country.

In a statement signed by Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brig. Gen. Bernard Onyeuko, the Army made the discovery when troops of Operation Sahel Sanity conducted a well coordinated intelligence based operation leading to the raid of an illegal mining site located along Gadan Zaima – Zuru Road in Bukuyyum LGA of Zamfara State which also serve as bandits’ hideout.

During the operation, he said, troops arrested 150 suspects and recovered 20 locally fabricated Dane Guns, one of the suspects was neutralized while trying to escape.

According to Onyeuko, preliminary investigation reveals that aside sabotaging the nation’s economy, banditry is being financed through these illegal mining activities.

Similarly, on 22 August 2020 gallant troops on fighting patrol encountered 3 bandits on motorcycles around Maigalma village in Anka LGA of Zamfara State while attempting to attack innocent residents.

During the encounter, one of the bandits was neutralized while others escaped. Troops recovered one AK-47 Rifle, one AK 47 Rifle magazine loaded with 5 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition and two motorcycles from the fleeing bandits.He also revealed that on 21 August 2020, troops acting on actionable intelligence raided a known bandit hideout around Dogon Karfe village in Bakura LGA of Zamfara. During the operation, 4 Dane Guns and one loaded magazine were recovered by the troops in an abandoned structure. Same day, following credible intelligence, troops deployed at Wagini village arrested a wanted notorious bandit named Isuhu Ibrahim (aka Bula) who in company of other bandits have been terrorizing the general area for a while.

Relatedly, on 20 August 2020, troops deployed at Daki Takwas conducted a snap road block and successfully intercepted a Toyota Corolla car with Reg No. DAL 41MT. After a deligent search on the vehicle, troops discovered 11 brand new locally made rifles and 150 live cartridges carefully concealed in different parts of the vehicle. Preliminary investigation reveals that the dangerous cargo was heading to Kofar Dinya in Bukkuyum LGA of Zamfara State. A total of 5 men were arrested in connection to the illegal fire arms.

SUSPECTED BANDIT TUKUR HALIRU ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT YARGAMJI ON 20 AUG 20
SUSPECTED BANDIT TUKUR HALIRU ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT YARGAMJI ON 20 AUG 20

Bernard further disclosed that in another development, on 20 August 2020, a repentant bandit leader named Bornon Kejo willingly surrendered to troops and submitted 2 AK-47 Rifles and 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines at Zurmi in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State. Efforts are ongoing to recover more weapons as well as encourage others to embrace peace and submit their arms.Additionally, same day on 20 August 2020, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY deployed at Sabon Layi rescued one adult male and one female earlier kidnapped by suspected bandits. The victims were kidnapped alongside 4 other persons at Daudawa village of Faskari LGA of Katsina State.

 SUSPECTED BANDIT MASAUDU ABUBAKAR ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT NAHUTA VILLAGE IN BATSARI LGA OF KATSINA STSTE ON 20 AUG 20.
SUSPECTED BANDIT MASAUDU ABUBAKAR ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT NAHUTA VILLAGE IN BATSARI LGA OF KATSINA STSTE ON 20 AUG 20.

However, the victims managed to escape from their abductors as a result of troops intense operational activities in the area. The rescued persons have been handed over to officials of Faskari LGA for onward reunion with their families while efforts are ongoing to rescue the remaining 4 victims.Also, troops acting on a tip off arrested a suspected bandit named Masaudu Abubakar. The suspect was identified to be a member of a syndicate terrorizing the area. In the same vein, troops on fighting patrol apprehended a suspected bandit named Tukur Haliru. Suspect was arrested while trying to sneak into Yargamji village on a spy mission from Danjiko Forest.

Also, between 19 – 20 August 2020, 7 trucks loaded with cattle suspected to have been rustled were arrested along Jibia – Katsina road and Gusau – Zaria road respectively. Arrested cattle and suspects have been handed over to Katsina State Police Command and Zamfara State Association of Rustled Animals, Gusau for further necessary action.

 NOTORIOUS BANDIT ISUHU IBRAHIM aka BULA ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT WAGINI VILLAGE ON 21 AUGUST 2020
NOTORIOUS BANDIT ISUHU IBRAHIM aka BULA ARRESTED BY TROOPS AT WAGINI VILLAGE ON 21 AUGUST 2020

Meanwhile, that all arrested suspects are currently in custody undergoing preliminary investigation and will soon be handed over to relevant prosecuting agencies for further action.

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We Will Defend the Country And Her democracy at All Cost – Army

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The Nigerian Army has reaffirmed its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Constitution of the country.

It therefore warned subversive elements and trouble makers against ever giving it a thought that they can do anything to capable of causing disturbance of the peace of the land as remains committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost.

It therefore directed its all its officers and men not to be distracted by anti democratic forces and agents of disunity fanning the embers of hatred and beating the drum of war in the country.

Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, made this warning in a statement he issued Wednesday.

THE STATEMENT:

NIGERIAN ARMY REMAINS RESOLUTE TO THE PEACE AND STABILITY OF THE NATION

1. The Nigerian Army (NA) wishes to reassure law abiding citizens that it is highly committed to the sustenance of peace, security and defence of democracy in Nigeria. As a responsible and law abiding organisation, the NA reaffirms its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari and the Constitution of the Country.

2. The NA hereby warns all subversive elements and trouble makers to desist from such acts as it remains highly committed to defend the country and her democracy at all cost. The NA is ready to fully support the civil authority in whatever capacity to maintain law and order and deal with any situation decisively. All officers and men are directed never to be distracted by anti democratic forces and agents of disunity.

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SAGIR MUSA
Colonel
Acting Director Army Public Relations
14 October 2020

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Army Records Success in North West, Rescues Kidnapped Victims, Arrest Bandits, Recovered Several Arms

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The troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have stepped up their quest to rout remnants of bandits and other criminal elements in the North West zone of the country.
RESCUED KIDNAPPED VICTIMS BY TROOPS ALONG ZUANI-JENGEME ROAD IN GUSAU ON 9 OCTOBER 2020.
RESCUED KIDNAPPED VICTIMS BY TROOPS ALONG ZUANI-JENGEME ROAD IN GUSAU ON 9 OCTOBER 2020.

I
In a statement by the Acting Director Defence Media Operations Brigadier General BENARD ONYEUKO, the gallant troops have relentlessly redoubled their efforts in this regard recording more successes against the bandits.The statement in full:

As the dry season gradually sets in the North-West zone, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have stepped up operation as they continue to push into the remote and hitherto in-accessible areas due to unfavorable terrain with devastating effect on the marauding criminals.

MUBARAK SHEHU ARRESTED DRUG SUPPLIER WITH RECOVERED 20 PACKETS OF PENTAZOCINE INJECTION AT JENGEBE OF WANKI DISTRICT IN GUSAU LGA OF ZAMFARA STATE ON 5 OCTOBER 2020
MUBARAK SHEHU ARRESTED DRUG SUPPLIER WITH RECOVERED 20 PACKETS OF PENTAZOCINE INJECTION AT JENGEBE OF WANKI DISTRICT IN GUSAU LGA OF ZAMFARA STATE ON 5 OCTOBER 2020

Consequently, between 4-9 October 2020, combined troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY, elements of 17 Brigade and Sector 9 Operation Hadarin Daji conducted a combined aggressive clearance operation to identified bandit’s enclaves at Dankar, Kandawa, Yau yau, Hayin Yau yau, Bugaje, Zandam, Kwari Mai Zurfi, Yar Gamji, Bukuru and Jibiyawa in Batsari and Jibiya LGAs of Katsina State leading to the neutralization of 3 bandits, while many others escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds. In the aftermath of the encounter, the gallant troops captured one AK 47 magazine loaded with 25 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and one dane gun belonging to the fleeing bandits while one bandit’s motorcycle and 8 bandits hideouts were destroyed insitu so far while the operation is still on going.

4 SUSPECTED BANDITS ARRESTED AT TUDU VILLAGE IN KANKARA LGA OF KATSINA STATE ON 4 OCTOBER 2020.
4 SUSPECTED BANDITS ARRESTED AT TUDU VILLAGE IN KANKARA LGA OF KATSINA STATE ON 4 OCTOBER 2020.

Similarly, in a covert operation based on credible intelligence, 4 suspected bandits were arrested at Kankara and Tudu village of Kankara LGA of Katsina state including a suspected bandit leader named *Mujitafa Shehu*.In another development, on 5 October 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Bena in Wasagu-Danko LGA of Kebbi state, in conjunction with troops of 223 Battalion deployed at Wasagu and Unashi rescued 2 kidnapped victims during a clearance operation to identified bandits hideout at Dan Umaru, Rancho and Dan Duniya villages. Many of the bandits managed to escape with various degrees of gunshot wounds. Rescued victims have since been reunited with their families amid jubilation by locals. Also, on the same day, following a tip-off, troops of Forward Operation Base Jengebe arrested a suspected drug peddler, one Mubarak Shehu at Jengebe Check Point in Wanki District of Gusau LGA. Suspect was caught with 20 packets of Pentazocine injection concealed in his motorcyle while on transit to deliver item at Kungurmi village of Bungudu LGA. Preliminary investigation revealed the drug baron is a member of the cartel that supplies hard drugs to bandits in the forest.

Relatedly, on 6 October 2020, troops deployed at Yar Santa in Kankara LGA of Katsina State rescued a female Kidnapped victim in Kankara LGA. Rescued victim has been reunited with her family. Furthermore, troops raided and destroyed bandits’ camps during a clearance operation at Garin Inu, Shekewa Forest, Jajaye, Kerewa, Solar, Mallamawa and Gobirawa in Katsina State. Items recovered during the operation include 2 Dane guns and assorted items.

In another development, on 9 October 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Magami while responding to a distress call rescued 23 kidnapped victims from fleeing bandits who abandoned the captives as the unrelenting troops were closing in on their hideout along Zauni-Jengebe road in Gusau LGA of Zamfara state. Preliminary investigation revealed that the victims were kidnapped while on transit to Magami Market from Gusau in a passenger bus. All the rescued victims were reunited with their families while efforts are intensified to track the criminal gang members.

DESTROYED BANDIT HIDEOUT BY TROOPS DURING A CLEARANCE OPERATION AT KANDAWA VILLAGE IN BATSARI LGA OF KATSINA STATE ON 7 OCTOBER 2020
DESTROYED BANDIT HIDEOUT BY TROOPS DURING A CLEARANCE OPERATION AT KANDAWA VILLAGE IN BATSARI LGA OF KATSINA STATE ON 7 OCTOBER 2020

To this end, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for the remarkable successes achieved in the intensified operation and their commitment to duty. They are further urged not to rest on their oars until banditry and other sundry crimes are totally eliminated in the North-West. While the people of the North-West are once more assured of troops commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone. They are equally encouraged to continue to avail the troops with credible information that will assist them in the operation.

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Several Bandits Arrested By Army as Kidnap Victims in North West Also Rescued

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In their quest to rout remnants of bandits and other criminal elements in re bags o youthe North West zone of the country, troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY have arrested Several Suspected Bandits, Rescue Kidnapped Victims.

Destroyed Bandit Hideout at Godawa Village on 22 September 2020
Destroyed Bandit Hideout at Godawa Village on 22 September 2020

The DHQ disclosed this in a statement signed by the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Brigadier General Bernard Onyeuko.

He said on 18 September 2020, troops deployed at Dangulbi while conducting routine operation at an identified bandits area, arrested 2 suspects namely Umaru Lawali and Ahmed Bello.

According to Onyeuko, Items recovered from them include 2 black masks (suspected to be used while committing crime), some quality of cannabis sativa and one motorcycle.

The director said, one Mr Abdullahi Lawal and Bala Saidu were arrested by troops at Sabon Layi and Dandume in connection with their involvement in selling of rustled cattle for bandits. Also, troops deployed at Kwatarkwashi in Zamfara State acting on a credible information arrested one Yunusa Muhammad at Gidan Yawa in Bungudu LGA of Zamfara State. Suspect is confessed to being a specialist in arranging the kidnap of victims and collection of ransom on behalf of bandits.

“Additionally, On 19 September 2020, troops deployed at Dandume acting on credible information thwarted what could have been a massive attack on locals by suspected armed bandits at Dandume LGA in Katsina State”.

9 suspected bandit collaborators arrested at Sabon Garin Dan Ali General area in Danmusa LGA of Katsina State on 24 September 2020
9 suspected bandit collaborators arrested at Sabon Garin Dan Ali General area in Danmusa LGA of Katsina State on 24 September 2020

“The troops who received timely information on the movement of the suspects with several motorcycles swiftly mobilized to the area and engage the marauding criminals in a fire fight. The superior firepower of troops forced the suspects to withdraw in disarray with several of the bandits sustaining gunshot wounds as traces of blood were seen on their escape route during exploitation”.

Umaru Lawal and Ahmed Bello suspected Bandits arrested along Dangulbi - Magami, Maru LGA of Zamfara State on 18 September 2020
Umaru Lawal and Ahmed Bello suspected Bandits arrested along Dangulbi – Magami, Maru LGA of Zamfara State on 18 September 2020

Also, on 19 September 2020, following credible information, troops deployed at Batsari arrested a suspected bandit named Abdullahi Musa with at Giginyu village. Suspect was identified to be a member of a criminal bandits gang terrorizing the area. Also, one Amadu Saleh and Shaibu Ibrahim were arrested by troops at Madachi and Maigora villages. The suspects are confirmed to be involved in illicit dealings and supplies of logistics to bandits. Furthermore, following a reliable information about movement of unknown persons suspected to be bandits with 6 motorcycles at Dan Aji forest around Yar Mallamai in Kankara LGA Katsina State, troops immediately mobilized and laid ambush in the area and arrested the
6 suspects.

He disclosed that on 19 September 2020, troops responded to a distress call about suspected armed bandits invasion on Dayau village in Kaura Namoda LGA of Zamfara State. On sighting troops arrival, the bandits in an attempt to escape cowardly fired sporadically and withdrew into the bush, nevertheless the resilient troops pursued them deep into the forest, neutralizing with one of the bandits while One motorcycle was recovered from the fleeing criminals. Same day, troops deployed at Yar Tsamiya Jino while on patrol rescued a young female kidnap victim named Jamila Sani around the fringes of Yar Tsamiya Jino forest. Preliminary investigation revealed that she was kidnapped alongside others at Makasu village in Kankara LGA of Katsina State on 7 September 2020. Efforts are ongoing to rescue the remaining victims.

6 Arrested Suspected Bandits at Dan AJi Forest Around Yar Mallamai in Kankara LGA of Katsina State on 19 September 2020
6 Arrested Suspected Bandits at Dan AJi Forest Around Yar Mallamai in Kankara LGA of Katsina State on 19 September 2020

Also, On 20 September 2020, troops arrested 2 suspected bandits namely Dayyabu Abubakar and Yahaya Murtala along Machika-Mararaba road. Equally, on 22 September 2020, following a tip off, troops in Faskari Katsina State arrested 2 suspected bandits namely Haruna Hassan and Kabiru Abdullahi at Yankara Market and Angwan Boka. Suspects were identified to be members of a bandits group terrorizing locals in the general area, items recovered from them include 2 mobile phones, One knife and cannabis sativa. On same day, troops of Sector 3 arrested one Mallam Gambo, a wanted bandits’ logistics supplier at Dansadau in Maru LGA of Zamfara State.

He further said on 23 September 2020, troops on clearance patrol destroyed several bandits’ camps and recovered 2 Dane guns, one locally made sword and 3 Axes. Relatedly, troops acting on intelligence raided some suspected bandits’ camps at Gadawa general area. The bandits fled the area before the troops arrive, notwithstanding, troops recovered 2 motorcycles, One mobile phone and the sum of of Ten Thousand Naira (N10,000.00) after conducting thorough search of the area. Also, troops deployed at Daudawa arrested a suspected bandits collaborator named Abubakar Isah at Daudawa village in Faskari LGA of Katsina State.

Additionally, on 24 September 2020, troops deployed at Dan Ali village based on credible intelligence arrested 9 suspected bandits collaborators at Sabon Garin Dan Ali general area in Danmusa LGA of Katsina State. Also, troops deployed at Daudawa, acting on a tip off by locals arrested one Surajo Bala, a suspected bandits informant. Suspect confessed to be involved in arranging kidnap of victims for bandits. Relatedly, troops deployed at Safana, responding to a distress call foiled an armed bandits attack and recovered several rustled cattle at Danyegeya village in Safana LGA. The troops swiftly storm the village and pursued the bandits forcing them to abandon their loots as they escaped under the cover of darkness with possible gunshot wounds. The recovered cattle were handed over to the rightful owners, while troops continue to dominate the area with fighting patrols

Surajo Bala suspected bandit informant arrested at Dansadau Village in Faskari LGA of Katsina State on 23 September 2020
Surajo Bala suspected bandit informant arrested at Dansadau Village in Faskari LGA of Katsina State on 23 September 2020

To this end, the gallant troops of Operation SAHEL SANITY are commended for the successes achieved and their commitment to duty. They are further urged not to rest on their oars until Northwest is rid of all criminals. While the good people of the Northwest are once again assured of troops commitment to the safety of lives and property within the zone, they are also encouraged to continue to avail the troops with timely and credible information that will assist them in the operations.

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