No fewer than 357 firearms have been recovered from Anambra and Borno states by the police that have been mopping up registered arms across the country.
While the Anambra Police Commissioner, Mr. Garba Umar, on Friday announced the recovery of 107 prohibited firearms in the state made up of 59 pump action guns, 46 locally made pistols, one AK47 and one browning pistol, 250 were recovered in Borno State which included nine AK47 rifles, 33 pump action guns and 200 Dane guns were recovered from residents of the state following the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum given to owners of illegal guns to surrender them to the police.
Umar who spoke in his office yesterday called on residents to voluntarily surrender such arms in their possession to the police within the grace period, as doing so, or being found out, after the specified period would attract sanction.
He called on the members of the public to partner with the police on information that would assist to recover such arms and ammunition.
The CP said the strategy embarked by the police to rid the state of violent crimes was yielding results, adding that police would not relent in their constitutional duty to ensure that the state was safe and secure for all citizens.
Umar said the firearms were recovered from private individuals from different locations in the state.
He said the massive mop-up of prohibited arms should send a signal to all and sundry that nobody would be treated as sacred cow in the exercise.
He explained that nobody had the permission to carry such arms without the authorisation of the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said after the grace period anyone found in possession of the arms would be made to face the full wrath of law. Addressing the press, the Borno Commissioner of Police, Mr. Damian Chukwu, said the dane guns on display though not part of prohibited guns, had to be seized as they were suspected to be used for criminal purposes.
On the suspects paraded before the press, Chukwu said on 31st January this year, a group of hoodlums numbering about five, armed with deadly weapons, conspired and invaded a cattle ranch of one Musa Ardo Dawa of Tugga Village in Damboa local government and dispossesed him of six cows and forty-seven sheep.
He said: “Based on tip-off, four of the five suspects namely, Abdullahi Barka, Sani Adamu , Awalu Ahmad and Adamu Baba Yakiwale now late were arrested by SARS operatives in collaboration with members of the vigilante. The stolen herds have since been recovered and in the course of investigation, the suspects admitted committing the crime.
“Similarly, between 3rd, 5th and 10th Feb this year, one Isa Musa, Idi Bello, Ahmadu Bello, Idi Hassan, Ahmadu Hassan and one Kyari Gana, notorious armed robbery gang terrorising Kawaye, Borno Yesu villages under Magumeri and Gubio local government areas were arrested at various locations armed with two AK-47 rifles, a Dane gun, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.”
He said the Command also on 4th March this year, based on DSS report, found a cache of arms and ammunition at an abandoned building belonging to one Goni Modu at Bulabulin Ngaranam area in Maiduguri metropolis.
He revealed that the subject being the former occupant fled the area during Boko Haram terroriststs’ invasion of the community and occupation of the building, until recently, the weapons were discovered when one Goni Modu the owner of the house returned and began renovation of the property.
Chukwu said the recovered items which are presently in custody of the heaquarters 195 battalion of Nigeran Army in Maiduguri include: two bags of ammunition, two rocket propelled grenades and four AK-47 rifles.
He said that: “Against the above background, members of the public, especially returnee internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to previously dominated Boko Haram Communities, are hereby advised to lookout for such weaponry and IEDs.”
Other suspects paraded include one Hassan Kwari of Maiduguri metropolis, a student of Ramat Polytechnic Maiduguri, who attacked and injured one Paul Moses, his roommate at the polytechnic, and one Ali Mohammed of Damboa road in Maiduguri arrested by SARS operatives after Kidnapping one 14 year old Mohammed Ibrahim Imam of old GRA, Maiduguri among others.
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