Troops nab alleged gunrunner, soldier over herders,farmers crisis

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Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) has said a soldier and another suspect have been arrested in Jos, Plateau State, by a special force for criminal activities, including inciting recent herders/farmers clashes in the Middle Belt.

Cpl. Ibrahim Idris and Ahmed Sani were apprehended with various calibre of firearms and ammunition by the force, which included military personnel.

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Sani, reputed in security circles to be a notorious armed robber/kidnapper and assassin, was arrested in an operation in conjunction with the Special Task Force (STF) on July 21, 2018; while Idris, a soldier residing in Maxwell Khobe Barracks, Rukuba, Jos, Plateau State, was arrested on June 27, 2018.

Investigations reveal that Sani, also known as Sani Gun-runner and Isah Kabiru, sells various calibre of firearms and ammunition.

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“Sani is one of the brains behind the feud between the Fulani and other ethnic groups in the Middle Belt. He constant supplies them arms and ammunition he receives from Idris,” a reliable security source disclosed.

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The source further revealed that information obtained during Sani’s interrogation led to the arrest of a police officer, one Sgt. Zakaria, attached to the Police Counter-terrorism Unit in Maiduguri, Borno State.

The policeman was arrested in a sting operation, while in the process of supplying 400 rounds of ammunition to Sani, who was already in custody.

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“Sani’s confession also helped identify one Suleiman, a detainee in Jos Prison. On interrogation, Suleiman confessed that he was a gunrunner before his remand. He also confessed to facilitating the sale of arms and ammunition while still in prison. Sani and Suleiman are assisting security forces with information that can lead to the arrest of other syndicate members,” the source said.

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In a related development, an STF reportedly arrested a Boko Haram suspect and successfully neutralised his cell in Okene, Kogi State, on July 7, 2018.

The suspect is said to be an affiliate of the AI Barnawi faction.

The Okene Boko Haram cell became notorious in August 2015 following increased criminality, especially car snatching and kidnapping, in the area. These criminal activities helped the cell to raise funds.

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The Guardian gathered that over the years, the cell had been known by various names such as Muslim Ummah, Jamaa and Al Sunnah.

A security source alleged that the cell was responsible for the stealing of N50 million allocation meant for Adavi Council and killing of several policemen during the operation.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it has received another 24 teenagers suspected to have previously worked for Boko Haram terrorists.

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UNICEF Nigeria acting representative, Pernille Ironside, in a statement issued to The Guardian, said the children aged 12 to 17 were cleared of suspected ties with the armed group by the Nigerian Army administrative custody in the North East.

The development, he said, brings the number of children released this year to 207.

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“For these children, the long journey towards reunion with their families, reintegrating with their communities and fulfilling their dreams starts today. We must support these children to fulfil their hopes and aspirations.

“UNICEF will continue to work with military and the authorities to support the reintegration of all children released, until there are no more children in administrative custody.”

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