The Zamfara State Police Command has arrested eight suspected informants, who are supplying arms and ammunition, food, motorbikes, military uniforms, negotiating and handing over ransom to bandits in the state.
Speaking to reporters at the state police headquarters on Saturday, September 17, command spokesman SP Mohammed Shehu said the suspects and a notorious bandit were arrested by the police tactical officers during of intelligence-led operations carried out in some criminal hideouts in Gusau and Tsafe LGAs respectively.
According to the spokesman, the command crushed a 6-man syndicate of informers to bandits.
He gave the names of informants like Abubakar Mainasara from Tsafe local government area, Babangida Mohammed alias Soja, who poses as a military officer from Gusau local government area, Jamilu Kawali alias Tailor, also from Gusau.
Others include Lawali Ibrahim from Kauran Namoda, Surajo Idris popularly known as “Honourable” from Gusau and Amadu Rufai from Birini Magaji local government area of the state.
“On September 12, 2022, the arrested suspects listed above are members of a notorious informant syndicate who collaborate with bandits to terrorize peaceful people in Gusau, K/Namoda, Tsafe, Bungudu LGA and surrounding areas,” said declared the PPRO.
“The nefarious activities of this syndicate group was to give information to bandits to make it easier for them to attack communities and kidnap people for ransom. It was also part of their activities to collect millions of naira for supplies in weapons/ammunition and military camouflage uniforms for bandits.
“Their recent dirty affair was when one of the suspects Abubakar Mainasara ‘M’ AKA Major in his statement to the police confessed to collecting the sum of Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N850,000) from the bandits to procure military camouflage uniforms for them, a consignment which was given to Babangida AKA Major, who agreed with one of their collaborators, a Tailor, a Jamilu Lawali ‘M’ from Gusau to procure and sew the uniforms which to the end were delivered to the Bandits.
“The same suspect further confessed to collecting the sum of two million naira (N2,000,000) from bandits to supply them with weapons and ammunition, even though two of his accomplices Lawal Ibrahim ‘M’ and Surajo Idris ‘M ‘ have confirmed to the Police said that the money given to the suspect was six million naira (6,000,000 naira) for the shipment of weapons and not 2,000,000 naira.
“The sum of One Million Naira (N1,000,000) was given to the same Babangida Soja ‘M’, who in turn gave only Sixty Thousand Naira (N60,000) to Jamilu Lawali ‘M’, (Tailor ) for the supply of the ammunition which in the end provided ten (10) rounds of AK-47 live ammunition which were handed over to the bandits via Babangida Soja and Abubakar Mainasara ‘M'”
The command also arrested a suspect, Zainu Lawal, 30, from Tsafe LGA, in possession of weapons, four cartridges, military camouflage, fake military ID and other dangerous weapons.
“On September 14, 2022, police tactical officers from Police Command Headquarters acted on intelligence information regarding certain alleged activities of the above suspect,” the spokesperson said.
“The suspect, who claimed to be a former soldier, was arrested while in possession of a locally made revolver, military camouflage uniform, fake military ID and other dangerous weapons. A discreet investigation is underway to elucidate the circumstances of the illegal possession of firearms.”
In another development, two notorious informants who provided motorbikes, food, negotiated and handed over ransom to bandits in the forest have been arrested.
The suspects are; Alhassan Lawali, 27, and Musur Usman alias Dan Alhaji, 25, both from Tsafe local government area of the state.
“On September 14, 2022, police detectives acted on intelligence information which led to the arrest of the aforementioned suspects. During questioning, the suspect confessed to providing more than fourteen (14) operational motorbikes to the bandits in the forest at the rate of Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N750,000) each, from which he earned the sum of Fifteen Thousand Naira (N15,000) per motorbike,” the PPRO said.
“The suspect further confessed that for years he was the one who repaired the bandits’ motorbike if it was damaged. The suspect in his statement also mentioned a Mansur Usman ‘M’ as his collaborator who was later arrested by the police.
“When questioned, he confessed to providing food and delivering it to the bandits in the forest. He also confessed that several times he collected and delivered ransom to the bandits. he handed over was the sum of two million three. One hundred thousand naira (N2,300,000)”
A notorious bandit, Umar Namaro, 35, from Mada district in Gusau LGA was also arrested with an AK-49 rifle, a LAR rifle and 174 live ammunition.
“On September 16, 2022 at around 2 p.m., tactical officers from the command police, while carrying out a surveillance patrol along the Gusau – Kotor Koshi – Mada axis, intercepted the bandit named above.
“During interrogation, the suspect confessed to being one of the notorious bandits terrorizing Mada and Kotor Koshi with banditry attacks, kidnappings, cattle rustling and other heinous crimes.
“During a search, an AK-49 and a Lar rifle and 174 live ammunition were found in his possession. The suspect has made important disclosures which are currently assisting the police in their investigation.”
All suspects will be brought to court for prosecution at the end of the investigation.