The Nigeria Police Force yesterday said the mastermind behind the kidnapping of the chairman of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) Mohammad Abubakar has been killed in a shoot-out with policemen of Operation Puff Adder.
The UBEC chairman and his daughter were kidnapped by gunmen on the Kaduna-Abuja Highway on April 29.
Police spokesman DCP, Frank Mba, in a statement yesterday, said the suspect, one Sumaila Sule, alias Shaho, a native of Rijana village in Kachia LGA of Kaduna state, was one of the most wanted kidnappers that has been terrorizing people in Kaduna and environs.
Mba said Shaho died in the early hours of May 18, following multiple bullet wounds he sustained during a shootout with police operatives attached to Operation Puff Adder.
He said the shootout took place in the evening of May 17, at the outskirts of Rijana village, while policemen were on routine surveillance and raid of suspected criminal hide-outs.
He explained that the policemen were suddenly attacked by a heavily armed criminal gang, adding that, the police team fought back repelling the attack and bringing Shaho down, whilst his gang members fled.
He said Shaho was rushed to a hospital, where he died the following day. Mba said, acting on information gotten from the suspect before his death, police operatives, between May 18 and May 19, carried out sweeping follow-up operations at different target locations.
He said the coordinated operations led to the arrest of four other members of Shaho’s gang and the recovery of three AK 47 rifles. He added that the arrested gang members are: Musa Hassan, Yau Umar, Umar Musa and Muhammad Sani, all natives of Rijiana Village.
He also said a team of Operation Puff Adder operatives, arrested another set of kidnappers who have been terrorizing citizens at Mubi, Adamawa State.
He said the suspects arrested are; Umaru Ibrahim a native of Buni Yadi, Yobe State, Abdul Maina native of Maiha Adamawa State and Mohammed Abubakar also a native of Buni Yadi Yobe State, adding that, one AK 47 rifle and 26 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the gang.
He said the suspects have all confessed to participating in numerous kidnapping and armed robbery operations within Adamawa State, including the kidnap and collection of a ransom of N7 million from one Mallam Abdullahi Umoru of Hong L.G.A.
He said investigations into the cases are on-going, while efforts to arrest other members of the gangs still at large are being intensified.