- Katsina Police Command says it has hauled in arms and ammunition from bandits in the state. including 109 anti-aircraft missiles
- This is a few months after the Nigerian authorities denied it paid N20 million to bandits to recover missiles from the bandits
- The police also said they seized livestocks, arrested about 1,000 banditry suspects and 689 ammunition
Bandits in Northern parts of Nigerians have acquired the capability to bring down aircraft, despite the Nigerian government’s no-fly zone directive imposed on some states in the north.
The government did that after it got winds that helicopters and other smaller aircrafts were being used to drop off weapons for the bandits in some designated forests in the north.
A former Head of State's helicopter was said to be used in dropping off weapons for the bandits. He denied that he was aware of what his aircraft was used for.
The Nigerian Police say it have hauled in about 109 surface-to-air missiles and other anti-aircraft ammunition from bandits in Katsina state in 2021.
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This is coming barely a few months after Nigerian government denied paying bandits N20 million to retrieve anti-aircraft missiles from bandits and to allow President Buhari visit his hometown.
The Police mouthpiece stressed that the weapons were recovered alongside the arrest of about 1,000 suspects in the state.
What the Katsina Police Command is saying
The Police Command said other arms recovered from the bandits include four GPMG, 44 AK-47 rifles, LAR rifle, one G3 rifle, 20 locally fabricated guns and 689 rounds of ammunition.
Livestock including 1,243 domestic animals, 867 cows, 352 sheep, 24 goats and one donkey were also seized from the terrorists.
“Some of the suspects include armed robbers, kidnappers, cattle rustlers among others, a total of 157 suspected armed robbers were arrested and 145 of the suspects were charged to court while the remaining 12 are under investigation. Also, 65 suspected kidnappers were arrested and 63 charged to court while the remaining two are under investigation."
In October 2021, a report by the Wall Street Journal revealed that the Nigerian government paid the sum of N20 million to a bandit leader to secure a 12.7 calibre antiaircraft gun in exchange for the payment as President Buhari prepared to fly to his hometown.
“For the avoidance of doubt, it must be stated that there is no basis for the NAF to pay bandits or any criminal elements that it has continued to attack and decimate in Katsina, as well as other parts of the North-West and other theatres of operation in the country.”
Court designates bandits as terrorists
Legit.ng reports that bandits under the Yan Bindiga and Yan Ta’adda groups have been declared terrorists by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
The Cable reports that Justice Taiwo Taiwo on Friday, November 26, made the declaration on an ex-parte motion filed by the Nigerian government against the bandits.
A director of public prosecution at the federal ministry of justice, Mohammed Abubakar, had filed the motion over approval from President Muhammadu Buhari.