Banditry: NSCDC Nab 42 Suspects Posing As Miners In Abuja


BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has arrested 42 suspected bandits and kidnappers who are posing as solid mineral miners across Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The FCT Commandant of NSCDC, Commander Olusola Odumosu told the media that the arrest followed credible intelligence and collaboration with the 176 Guards Battalion of the Nigerian Army, adding that the successful operation was carried out on Monday, February 12, 2024, at around 6:00 am

He also disclosed that the suspects were apprehended in the Tsaumi Village forest, bordering Lambata in Gurara Local Government Area of Niger State.

According to the Commandant, preliminary investigations indicated that contrary to their claims, the group was not involved in mining activities, but rather suspected bandits and terrorists fleeing the ongoing military operations in Zamfara State, adding that; “They were moving through the forest zone of Niger State into the FCT through Gwagwalada Area Council en route Pai Village of Kwali Area Council”.

Odumosu, who explained that ongoing investigations suggest the group, consisting of young men, has been operating in Zamfara, Kogi, and Niger States, further said; “At the time of their interception, they had no evidence to show they were going on mining activities, which suggests they had a sinister motive.

“The suspects have reportedly confessed to having sponsors, although details regarding their identities are still under investigation. They are currently cooperating with the NSCDC, providing valuable information to determine their level of involvement in banditry and kidnapping within the FCT”.

Meanwhile, the Commandant said NSCDC’s operatives, collaborating with the Department of State Services (DSS), have also arrested a 27-year-old man, Bartholomew Anthony, from Kaura Local Government Area of Kaduna State, in the Mabushi axis of the FCT for his involvement in criminal activities within Abuja.

Disclosing that the arrest occurred in a separate operation, Odumosu said; “Anthony was apprehended with pieces of armored cables, a hacksaw, a jackknife, a mobile phone, and N20,000 cash. His confession led to the arrest of three other accomplices: Hakilu Muhammed, Abdulrahaman Abbas, and Samila Promise.”

Offering insight on the arrest, the NSCDC boss said the group specializes in vandalizing and stealing armored cables within the FCT. They reportedly used their membership in a vigilante group as a cover for their criminal activities, adding; “We have profiled them and their statements obtained, they will soon be arraigned in court for justice to prevail”.

While reassuring FCT residents of the Command’s unwavering resolve to make the FCT safe and secured, Odumosu said no efforts would be spared in ensuring the territory is rid of all criminal elements.

However, he urged members of the public to always report any suspicious activity to relevant agencies of government, reiterating that citizens must now think about safety differently because security remains everyone’s business.

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