LAGOS – Five suspected members of a notorious armed robbery and kidnapping gang have confessed their roles in several attacks carried out within southern Taraba State.
The suspects were rounded up by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, (IRT).
They were identified as Daniel Ihyar, Saheed Yakubu, Felix Agrema Teitase Nyenkwa and Lukman Musa.
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Their arrest was sequel to the deployment of a crack team of IRT operatives to Taraba State to quell the rising spate of kidnapping, armed robbery and assassination which trailed the recent clash between Jukun and Tiv people in southern Taraba.
It was learned that several criminal gangs were formed at the peak of the Jukun and Tiv crisis, which broke out in December 2019. This, it was revealed led to the free movement of arms and ammunition in the hands of suspected criminals who were hired by the warring communities.
Police sources disclosed that one of the most vicious gangs formed in the wake of the crisis is headed by a 27-year-old man identified simply as Joe Agrema.
Agrema, who is yet to be arrested is said to have over 10 Ak47 rifles in his amoury and commands a large number of boys.
It was also gathered that members of his gang have carried out countless kidnappings, armed robbery and assassinations in southern Taraba.
A source explained that Joe, a Tiv, presently on the police wanted list was notorious and highly feared by the Jukun people and his Tiv tribesmen as he regularly intimidated them into paying security money to him. He allegedly kidnaps or kills anyone that fails to pay or speaks against his activities.
This was said to have compelled the people to write petitions to the Inspector General of Police, IGP Mohammed Abubakar Adamu, to look into his activities and bring him to book.
The IGP was said to have acted swiftly on their petitions by deploying his IRT operatives headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to trail and bring the suspected criminals to book.
It was gathered that few weeks later, the IRT operatives rounded up four of Joe’s men including his younger brother and two of his informants who helped him in monitoring his victims.
Confessing to the crime, one of them disclosed that Joe had plotted to kill him because he left his gang to form another gang.
According to him, “I am from Gassol Local Government Area and I joined Joe’s gang during the Jukun and Tiv crisis which broke out last year. Joe is from Dan Anancha area of our local government and we fought together during the crisis, but after the crisis, Joe formed a kidnapping gang with all the guns he got during the crisis. He has a camp inside the forest and he comes out with his men to kidnap or kill anyone that he has in mind. He has killed so many people, including one Caser who challenged him. He also tried to a kill a man who was hospitalised in Dan-Anancha General Hospital.
“The man was lucky because he got information that Joe was coming to kill him and he escaped. I fell out with Joe after he sent me to my community known as Diyan. He asked me to tell my people to raise the sum of N300, 000 for him which he said he needed to buy arms. My people complied with his directives, but they were able to raise just N150, 000. He was not satisfied as the money was half of his demand and threatened to deal with my people. A few days later he brought some of his men to my community and kidnapped a man from Cross Rivers State. The man paid him N250, 000 as ransom before he was released.
“After that incident, I stopped working with him and I formed my own gang using one of the revolver pistols my community bought for me during the crisis,” he said.
Source : independent.ng