*Parade 81 Suspected Bandits, Kidnappers Others
In the wake of growing insecurity across the states of the federation and the Federal Capital Authority, FCT, Abuja, the Police High Command, on Wednesday, raised the alarm that it has uncovered a local AK-47 fabrication factory in Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The Force Public Relations Officers, FPRO Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police CP, paraded the two middle-aged men, Joe Michael and Iliya Bulus, arrested for the alleged fabrication of the weapons alongside other 79 suspects.
The suspects according to him were arrested by the operatives of the two major Units of the operational and investigative team of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) and Special Tactical Squad (STS) of the Force across the country for various offences ranging from kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, culpable homicide, gun-running to illegal production and distribution of fake number plates.
Addressing newsmen while parading the suspects in Abuja, the FPPO raised the alarm that the locally fabricated guns are fast becoming the weapons of choice for criminals terrorising the country and this portends a great danger to the security of the nation if not immediately stopped.
Mba lamented that the locally fabricated Ak-47 was a masterpiece that would require extra knowledge of an expert to differentiate from the ones made from Europe
He disclosed that during the raid on the illegal factory 20 pieces of locally Ak-47 rifles were recovered by the operatives who been on the trail of the suspects for a very long time.
According to him, “if you look at these weapons locally fabricated by the suspects, it is not different from others being imported into the country, unless you are trained you will not be able to spot the difference, they use the same magazines.
“We will follow up to track down those behind this, we will continue to deepen our intelligence, we continue to work with other sister security agencies to check the proliferation of illegal arms in the country
Speaking with newsmen, the fabricator, Joe Michael, who attended a Technical College in Jos disclosed that he had so far fabricated about 180 units in the last three year which he sold at N80,000 per unit.
The suspect also claimed that he acquired the skill from his late boss simply known as James.
In a related development, Mba also paraded a three-man gang over the alleged mass production and distribution of specialised fake number plates comprising the Presidency, Diplomatic and others.
He explained that the suspects were apprehended in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State by crack detectives of the Special Tactical Squad.
He disclosed that Investigations had shown that the syndicate were being patronised by people of shady characters in the society.
“These shady characters will get those specialised number Plates and fixed on their vehicles to beat security checks and to also enjoy unmerited privileges in the society,” he said.
The FPRO, however, said that the police was already in possession of the full list of those with such fake number plate, saying that the culprits would be apprehended and be prosecuted no matter their connection in the society.
Also, a four-man gang of the kidnapper who reportedly kidnapped a University Lecturer, Professor Aliyu Mohammed, in Zaria, Kaduna State were paraded,
Mba said that the suspects were arrested at a point of kidnapping a Catholic Priest in Kaduna State recently.
In addition, the Police paraded an undergraduate student of the University of Jos Plateau State for masterminding the killing of his friend who loaned a sum of N500,000 to organised his wedding ceremony.
Also paraded was a trans-border gunrunner popularity known as Baba Busy who was arrested between the Benin Republic and Nigeria border with a GPMG Chain drive gun with 1,600 live ammunition.
The FPRO assured that though the Nation’s Security was being challenged, the situation would bring out the best in the security forces of the country.