DSS arrests two suspected IS commanders in Abuja
• Detains ex-gov Suswam, ‘recovers arms, ammunition’
• ECOWAS warns of growing terrorism in sub-region
The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested two commanders of the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) at Kukuntu village, Gwagwalada, Abuja.According to a statement by the spokesman of the agency, Mr. Tony Opuiyo, in Abuja, yesterday, the suspects, Bashiru Adams and Rufai Sajo, were picked up May 5, after special operations.He said that in a related operation on April 28, the service also arrested one Umar Dogo, a suspected member of ISWA at Muda Lawal market in Bauchi.
The announcement followed a report within the week that the Islamic State was sneaking jihadists into Nigeria from Syria.Opuiyo said the suspects had concluded plans to disseminate the ideals of the group in the area, and in collaboration with Boko Haram, carry out violent attacks on innocent persons.The operative said that following intelligence reports, two experts in Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), Adamu Hassan (aka Bale) and Abubakr Abubakar (aka Alhaji or Buba), were arrested.
Opuiyo said that between May 9 and 29, several associates of alleged kidnapper, Terwase Akwasa (aka Ghana) were also arrested at various locations in Benue, and that three suspects, Ada James, Tikaa Desmond and Joseph Ikpa, were arrested with a Toyota Venza Sport Utility Vehicle.He said that in another operation in Katibu village, Lau Local Government Area of Taraba, a joint team of the service, military and police encountered 100 armed herdsmen, and that “during the confrontation, 10 herdsmen were killed and several others escaped with bullet wounds.”
He noted that items recovered from them include two AK-47 rifles, one G3 rifle, three Dane guns, two cutlasses, and four motorcycles.The DSS also arrested former Benue State governor, Gabriel Suswam.He was invited to the agency’s office on Tuesday and has been held since.
The service said it recovered arms and ammunition allegedly belonging to Suswam.In a statement, Opuiyo said: “The DSS wishes to inform the public that on February 24, 2017, between 2100 hours and 0242 hours, the service executed a search warrant, at the property of Dunes Investment and Global Properties Ltd, located at No 44 Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama, Abuja.
“The operation was informed by intelligence that some incriminating items were stashed in the boots of cars parked at the property, particularly a Mercedes Benz S550 (BWR 135AH), and Masarati 4.7 (BWR 207 AJ), which were subsequently confiscated. “Consequently, on February 25, 2017, about 1000hours, in the presence of two private security officers employed by Dunes Investment, the cars were searched and the following items were recovered: Glock pistol with two magazines and a total of 29 rounds of ammunition; mini-Uzi with two magazines containing 10 rounds and four rounds respectively; 42 extra rounds of ammunition contained in a pack; and one AK-47.
“Other items recovered include 21 Certificates of Occupancy and one Offer of Statutory Right of Occupancy; 23 luxury designer watches; and 45 keys to various exotic cars.“Following this discovery, the service launched further investigation, which revealed that the cars and the recovered items belong to the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, who has already been invited by the service and is presently helping in the investigations.”
Meanwhile, at the 28th Session of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council (MSC) in Abuja, on Wednesday, the Commission’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS), General Francis Behanzin, raised the alarm over rising threat of terrorism in the sub-region, calling for “defence force that is adapted to the new threats to guarantee the safety of West African citizens.”
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