The Nigeria Police Force on Saturday said its operatives launched an attack on a kidnap enclave killing many notorious kidnappers, including kidnap kingpin identified as Musa Wada (Sabo) Magaji, in an operation conducted around Mpape in Abuja.
This is coming as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command said operatives attached to the Rapid Response Squad on Friday intercepted one Muhammad Isah, a resident of Kafanchan in Kaduna State, in a Toyota Hiace bus with Reg No APP 489 XE, conveying 12 under-aged children to Ogun State.
The children include four males and eight females.
A statement issued by the Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the Nigeria Police Force Intelligence Bureau–Intelligence Response Team (FIB-IRT), acting on intelligence, successfully attacked, neutralised and eliminated many notorious kidnappers, including the kidnap kingpin identified as Musa Wada (Sabo) Magaji, in an operation conducted around Mpape.
It said: “The armed bandits engaged the police operatives in a gun battle that lasted for about 30 minutes, which left many of the bandits fatally injured, while one of the police operatives sustained a bullet wound.”
It said the operation followed the killing of Abubakar Wada, an associate of Musa Wada, who led security operatives to their hideout, on February 8, 2024.
“Musa Wada, aka Sabo, was the mastermind behind numerous kidnappings for ransom activities plaguing areas including Mpape and Bwari in the FCT, Kagarko in Kaduna; Masaka, and Nukun Village in Nasarawa State.
“His modus operandi involved identifying wealthy targets and mobilising armed gangs to carry out abductions for ransom,” it said.
The statement further stated that “the successful raid on their hideout, situated in the outskirts of Mpape Hills, was conducted by the brave men of the FIB-IRT through a surprise assault, resulting in the elimination of these notorious criminals”.
Items recovered from the hideout include mobile phones, multiple SIM cards, charms, and hard drugs, which it said were crucial pieces of evidence aiding ongoing investigations.
It said efforts were on to recover additional arms and ammunition and other equipment the kidnappers use for their nefarious operations.
“The Nigeria Police Force remains resolute in its commitment to combating crime and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens and will continue to employ proactive measures to dismantle criminal networks and bring perpetrators of heinous crimes to justice, against all odds,” it said.
Meanwhile, the FCT Police Command said operatives attached to the Rapid Response Squad Friday intercepted one Muhammad Isah, a resident of Kafanchan in Kaduna State, in a Toyota Hiace bus with Reg No APP 489 XE, conveying 12 under-aged children to Ogun State.
A statement issued by the spokesperson of the command and Superintendent of Police (SP), Josephine Adeh, said preliminary investigation revealed that the children whose ages were between five and 16 years, all from Akwanga Local Government Council in Nasarawa State, were being trafficked to Ogun State by one Pastor Simon Kado and Jesse Simon Kado, who are now presently in police custody.
“While investigation is still ongoing, the command in collaboration with Nasarawa State Police Command are working towards reuniting the victims with their families.
“The Commissioner of Police FCT, CP Benneth C. Igweh, wishes to reiterate that the safety of residents remains his utmost priority,” the statement added.