The anti-kidnapping Special Forces of the Nigerian Police have arrested additional 40 persons for their alleged involvement in the abduction of motorists and travellers along the Abuja-Kaduna highway.
About 32 of such persons were picked up last week after a re-jig in the police formation in that axis following an alarming increase in kidnap cases.
The police attribute the arrest of the suspects to the launch of ‘Operation Absolute Sanity’ by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris.
Several AK-47 rifles, charms, ammunition as well as stolen items were recovered from the suspects who the police say belong to different kidnap gangs.
Parading the suspects before journalists at Rijjanna village in Kaduna State on Thursday, the Force Spokesman, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, said the suspects were arrested during a gun battle with policemen.
Some of the kidnapped victims were rescued from their hideouts inside the bush.
He explained that the successes recorded by the team had reduced kidnapping and other criminal activities on the highway.
He added that the police will not relent in their assignment until all the bandits were flushed out from their hideout and the highway is safe again.
Moshood said the suspects have made confessional statements, revealing the various roles they played in committing the crime.
The arrest of 32 suspected kidnappers last week was sequel to the deployment of additional police teams on the Kaduna-Abuja road to tackle kidnapping and armed robbery cases.
The teams are made up of Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Squad, Anti-Kidnapping Unit, Intelligent Response Team, Special Tactical Squad, Force Intelligence Branch and Police Helicopters.
Moshood said that the teams had made significant achievement since it came on board.
The spokesman said that the suspects had made confessional statements to the police on the various roles each of them played in the commission of the crime.
“We will continue to build on these successes to ensure that crimes that cannot be prevented are promptly detected,” he said.
He said that the police would continue to build on the current successes to ensure that the last kidnapper was removed from the Kaduna-Abuja highway.
He assured all the communities along the route and other parts of the country that the operations would be sustained to curtail crime across the country.
The District Head of Katari, Alhaji Gambo Giwa who spoke to newsmen, called for the sustenance of surveillance to prevent crimes in the community.
The district comprised of six villages of Bishiri, Rijana, Katari, Aruko and Koronsohuwa.
He said that the community had witnessed so many atrocities including rape, killings and armed robbery unleashed by the suspects.
Gambo said that members of the community were ready to cooperate with the police for the continued provision of security.
“We want the presence of the police to be maintained in this area,” he said.
NAN reports that the police on July 25 commenced ‘Operation Absolute Sanity on the Abuja-Kaduna Highway.
The operation is to complement and augment the on-going Joint Police and Military operations on ground before now.
In a related development, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr Musa Kimo, has warned a group against its planned protest to block major roads in the territory.