Criminals devise new tactics, wear hijab as decoy
BY ORIAKU IJELE
The nation’s security apparatus is experiencing a high-end strain on its stability as criminals of all shades wreak havoc of varying degrees across the states of the country. In the past 3 weeks, series of coordinated attacks have happened which seem to have left the system jolted, engendering little hope amongst the common citizens.
Sunday Times survey indicates that crimes of all manners ranging from armed robbery, illegal mining, political assassination, and most of all, kidnapping for ransom have taken a vertical slant, leaving sorrow, tears and blood on their trail.
While no region appears safe at the moment, there has been growing concern about security situation at the Federal Capital Territory, where hoodlums have consistently terrorised in the past three months with damning consequences. Only last week, the nation reacted with a loud outcry following the murder of a female victim, Nabeeha, after her parents failed to raise the requested ransom to secure her release and that of her 4 siblings.
Equally disturbing is the courage with which the hoodlums operate. Where they are not under decoy, like wearing a hijab to escape detection, they seem to show overwhelming confidence as exemplified by the criminal gang which stormed an estate affiliated to the Nigerian Army to abduct some people three days ago for ransom; for which they yesterday boldly called to request for the sum of N30m as ransom!
A lawyer based in Abuja who has had a harrowing encounter with the abductors of his family members captured it thus in a petition and plea to members of the Nigerian Bar Association: “Dear Learned Silks, Seniors & Colleagues. Most respectfully, I’m Oladosu Folorunso Ariyo, a lawyer working in Abuja. On Sunday evening the 7th of January 2024, around 7:30 pm, a band of kidnappers dressed in full military camon invaded my home located at Sagwari Layout Estate in Dutse, Abuja.
“They kidnapped my wife (who is also a lawyer) and our four children. The kidnappers called and demanded for N60m ransom out of which through generous donation of friends and family, I’ve been able to raise the sum of N7 million naira which they have vehemently refused to collect.
“As at today, they’ve killed my first born- Michelle Ariyo ( age 13) and dumped her corpse on Kaduna road while threatening to kill my 3 remaining children (who are all minors) and wife who are still in captivity.”
But the security agencies have however been recording some successes even as many Nigerians believe they are not commensurate with the situation on the ground. Yesterday in Abuja, the police announced the arrest of one of the notorious masterminds of insecurity in the FCT metropolis.
The Police on Saturday said they have also disrupted plans by some kidnap gangs to abduct students and other citizens in Niger and the FCT.
The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said during a media briefing in Abuja on Saturday that three members of the gangs were arrested.
He said the suspects were arrested on Jan. 17, by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) following credible intelligence.
Adejobi said the IRT on Jan. 15 received credible intelligence that a GSM number under surveillance belonging to one of the suspects called another GSM number, informing the recipient of a plan to carry out a kidnap operation.
According to him, in the GSM conversation, the suspect also told the recipient that he has invited other kidnapping gangs and promised to carry out the operation with him.
Adejobi said the suspect also called another person on phone, who was later discovered to be a member of the gang, informing him that a civil servant in their custody is a very wealthy man with a lot of assets.
He told the gang member not to release the civic servant unless he pays a minimum of N50 million ransom.
According to him, in the same conversation, the suspect said he was still carrying out surveillance on a polytechnic in Niger to kidnap students.
“Investigation has shown that the suspects have been involved in several kidnapping operations in the FCT, including some that happened in Bwari axis.
“Our operatives are intensifying efforts to rescue the kidnap victims in their captivity and ensure that other members of the gang are arrested,” Adejobi said.
It will be recalled that the Nigerian Defence sector has had a considerable chunk of the budget in the past 8 years, but this has scarcely been effective in checking the menace of insecurity, rather the problem has worsened.
In 2024 alone, defence got the highest single allocation of funds with N4trl naira, commanding 12% of the entire budget.