The State Security Services, SSS, on Friday said some suspected individuals with ties to the notorious group of economic saboteurs, Niger Delta Avengers, and separatist group, Independent People of Biafra, IPOB, have been arrested.
In a statement signed and distributed by a spokesman for the SSS, Tony Opuiyo, the department said it also carried out successful raids on the hideouts of suspected criminals across the country through the month of June.
Mr. Opuiyo said the SSS decided to intensify surveillance activities as part its plans to stymie recent spate of criminal activities across the country.
Suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers arrested included Selky Torughedi and Christian Oluba; while the service said one Chidiebere Onwudiwe was the alleged IPOB member arrested.
The full SSS statement reads as follows:
“The general public is aware that in recent days, some States of the Federation have witnessed spate of kidnapping incidents perpetrated by criminal elements in a bid to further their selfish pecuniary and/or criminal interests. In furtherance of security measures initiated to checkmate this trend, series of special tactical operations were carried out by this Service, where successful arrests of masterminds of these criminal gangs were made by the Service, while their hide-outs were decimated.
On 7th June, 2016, one Kabiru Shuaibu, the ring-leader of a kidnap gang, comprising his accomplices namely: Haruna Saleh, Tukur Shuaibu and Abdulmumuni Adamuna, were arrested by the Service along Murtala Muhammad Bridge, along Lokoja-Abuja Highway, in Lokoja, Kogi State. The suspects were part of a criminal gang which has been terrorizing innocent citizens in the Northern region of the Federation. During their arrest, a locally-made pistol, seven (7) cartridges, fourteen (14) mobile phones and six hundred and fifteen thousand naira (N615,000) were recovered on them.
On 8th June, 2016, one Reuben Akinbehinje aka Chairman, the ring-leader of a notorious kidnap syndicate, was arrested by this Service in Akure, Ondo State, along with five (5) other members of his gang namely; John Imoleayo Uche, Seun Lajuwon, Seun Iseoluwa Akintayo, Lateef Fayemi Hammed and Saheed Oyewo. The AKINBEHINJE gang has been the brain behind the kidnap of two Catholic nuns in the State and other criminalities such as armed robbery, hijack and diversion of fuel tankers and cult-related activities in Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Kwara States.
Similarly, on 12th June, 2016, this Service arrested one Ifeanyi Michael Onyike, a suspected kidnap kingpin at D-line, Port Harcourt in Rivers State. Onyike was involved in the kidnap of Ebere Chinda, wife to Igo Chinda, the Personal Assistant (PA) to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.
Further to this tactical offensive, on 25h June, 2016, in one of the North-Western States, one Sani Abdullahi, and his three accomplices, namely Rufai Tukur Abdullahi, Najeeb Abubakar and Abdullahi Ahmed, were apprehended by this Service. The group has concluded arrangements to embark on serial kidnap of high-value targets in Katsina State, before their arrest. This gang has hitherto been terrorizing the North-Western States of Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara.
In a bid to stem the activities of vandals in the Niger Delta, this Service effected the arrest of Selky Kile Torughedi, on 17th June, 2016, in Calabar, Cross River State. Torughedi is an ex-militant and suspected member of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), and was arrested for planning to assassinate one M.B. Yahaya, a serving military officer. Torughedi, who is a close associate of Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo), had already conducted surveillance at the residence of Yahaya in Kaduna, preparatory to his plot when he was intercepted. He is also fingered as a sponsor of pipeline vandalism in some States in the South-South region. Suspect is currently assisting the Service, with critical leads.
In a related operation, this Service arrested one Christian Oluba aka Sensor, another suspected militant with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA). Sensor was arrested while perfecting plans to carry out explosive attacks on critical oil and gas pipelines, including critical storage points.
Meanwhile, sequel to increasing threat posed to public peace by the activities of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), this Service arrested one Chidiebere Onwudiwe, a graduate of Mechanical and Chemical Engineering and known member of IPOB, on 22ndJune, 2016. Onwudiwe and his associates within and outside the country, were planning to carry out coordinated attacks against religious bodies/edifices, Police-Check Points and the computer village in Ikeja, Lagos State, with Improvised Explosive devices (IEDS). The suspect was apprehended while making logistics supplies for their nefarious plan.
In another development, on 19th June, 2016, at Langtang North LGA in Plateau State, this Service in liaison with the military and Police, arrested one Nanpon Sambs (aka Yabam), an illegal arms dealer. SAMBS is a member of a notorious black market arms syndicate led by one Peter Nehema (aka Adagyo) which operates in the State. A Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) launcher and circuit charger were recovered from a Toyota Highlander SUV belonging to the suspect.
Also, this Service wishes to alert the general public to be wary of suspicious packages and persons, as celebration of the Eid-el-Fitr approaches. The Service is availed of intelligence which indicates threat by extremist elements to attack selected locations across the Federation, particularly parks and congregations of worshippers, in order to further their cause.
The Service wish to state that it will continue to deploy every window within its constituted mandate to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding residents and citizens wherever they reside. We therefore call on the general public to be security-conscious and to report any suspicious persons/groups or activities to relevant security agencies.