Armed men suspected to be assassins invaded the Minna, Niger State residence of Mohammed Sani Musa, Senator Representing Niger East Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
This is just as bandits have attacked a mosque in Maigamji village along Funtua-Dandume road, Funtua Local Government Area (LGA) of Katsina, disrupting Isha’i prayer that was being observed by worshippers on Saturday.
A former councillor of Maigamji ward in Funtua LGA of Katsina, Alhaji Lawal Maigamji, said when the bandits came, they opened fire on two people, including the Imam leading the prayers.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator, who was in Niger State for the coronation and presentation of staff of office to the Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Ahmed Garba Gunna, was said to have returned to Abuja after the event.
Residents confirmed that the suspects, numbering about seven, must have trailed the senator from Abuja after getting information that he was in the State to attend the coronation ceremony.
The invaders, who were armed, forced themselves into the house but were repelled by the security men on ground and a reinforcement team from Tudun-Wada police station.
“The Senator had proceeded to Abuja after attending the coronation and presentation of Staff of Office to the Emir of Kagara, Alhaji Ahmed Garba Gunna. But the gunmen came to the house.
“However, luck ran out of them, when they were repelled and apprehended by heavily armed security men. Currently, they are being held in the custody,” one of the close allies of the senator said.
When contacted, the Niger State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Wasiu Abiodun, confirmed the incident but said it was not assassination attempt.
He said four suspects had been arrested for impersonation and criminal conspiracy while other took their heels when they sighted the police rienforcement team.
“The fact of the incident is that on 03/12/2022 at about 1900hrs, based on a distress call received that some strange suspicious persons, driving a Toyota Sienna vehicle with Reg. No. FKJ 814 GP invaded the house of a Senator, located at Tudun-Wada, Minna. The Command immediately mobilised tactical teams to the scene.” He said.
He gave the names of the four suspects as Oladele Peter Akano (49) of Kuruduma, Abuja, Abdul Salisu (31) of Gwagwalada, Abuja, Felix Clarkson (47) of Karo Abuja and Babagana Alhaji (39) of Chideri-Polo, Maiduguri
Abiodun said during interrogation, the suspects claimed that they were mobilised by one Sherrif, now at large, a purported whistleblower who reportedly claimed to be working with a security agency in Abuja.
“Sherrif invited Akano, who is a teacher in a private school at Abuja. He also invited Clarkson, an instructor in a private institute ‘INSMO’ Abuja, Salisu who is a plumber from Gwagwalada, provided hammer and chisel for house breaking and Babagana Alhaji, with five others presently at large.
“Suspects confessed further that Sherrif stated there are foreign currency and arms kept in the residence of the Politician, hence they travelled from Abuja to Minna for a purported execution of search without any warrant.” Police Spokesman added.
Abiodun said on getting to the residence, the security operatives attached to the house suspected the fake team and raised alarm for reinforcement, while the Police operatives attached to Tudun-Wada Police Division and Anti-kidnapping team of the Command were drafted to the scene.
He said a Toyota Sienna vehicle was recovered, while other suspects took to their heels, on sighting the Police reinforcement teams.
The suspects have been transferred to SCID Minna for investigation.
The former councillor of Maigamji ward in Funtua LGA of Katsina, Alhaji Lawal Maigamji identified those shot as Malam Yusha’u, the Imam and Hussaini Jamo, a worshipper, disclosing that they were both receiving treatment at a hospital in Funtua.
“They surrounded the mosque when Ishaa’i congregational prayer was being conducted, after shooting Imam Yusha’u and Hussaini Jamo, they abducted 18 people and made away with them into the bush,” Lawal Maigamji said.
He added that four of the abducted victims escaped from their captors while in transit.
In a related development at least 31 people were reportedly abducted in Karare and Kokiya villages of Batsari Local Government Area of Katsina State in the early hours of Friday.
The terrorists, which were said to number about 40 riding on motorcycles, invaded the village where they killed one person and abducted the people including women and children.
Daily Trust gathered that some of the abductees were students heading to the Government Day Secondary School, Karare from Kokiya village.
As of the time of compiling this report, residents of Karare and Kokiya villages were yet to ascertain the number of abducted victims.
Some residents who spoke to our reporter in Katsina expressed worry over the increasing spate of kidnappings for ransom, cattle rustlings and heinous killings of innocent people.
When contacted for confirmation, the police spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, said he would contact the DPO of the area and get back to our reporter.
However, while admitting the abduction of some residents the chairman Batsari Local Government area, Yusuf Yanji, however, refuted the allegations of the students’ abduction, saying the story was unfounded.