Coming two months after Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government denied it paid N20 million to retrieve an anti-aircraft missile from bandits in Katsina, the Nigerian Police has announced it recovered 109 anti-aircraft ammunition from bandits in 2021 in the state.
This was disclosed in a statement by SP Gambo Isa, the spokesperson for the command in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday.
He also stated that the anti-aircraft ammunition were recovered alongside the arrest of nearly 1000 banditry suspects in the state.
What the Police Command is saying
The Police revealed that other arms recovered from the area for the period includes four GPMG, 44 AK-47 rifles, one LAR rifle, one G3 rifle, 20 locally made guns and 689 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition.
Livestock including 1,243 domestic animals including 867 cows, 352 sheep, 24 goats and one donkey were also recovered.
“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,” the Command said.
They added they succeeded in arresting 244 suspected cattle rustlers, of which 230 suspects have been charged to court while the remaining 14 are under investigation.
“In the course of this campaign, 38 suspected bandits were neutralised in various gun battles while five police officers paid the supreme price,” Isa said.
What you should know
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.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) replied that media reports claiming it paid bandits N20 million naira to retrieve an anti-aircraft weapon are not true.
They said, “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.”