Operatives of the Nigerian Police, Niger State Command have arrested a 50-year-old man, Umar Samaila suspected to be the spiritual leader of bandits in the state.
Samaila is also reported to have spiritual control over Nasarawa and Abuja as well as revealed in a statement on Monday by the spokesman for the Niger State Police Command, Wasiu Abiodun.
The long arm of the law caught up with him on Saturday when security operatives, based on actionable intelligence stormed a location where the bandits were planning to execute a raid and kidnap of some worshippers the next day in a church at Buku village in Abaji Area of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The arrested suspect will be transferred to Abuja for further interrogation, Abiodun stated.
The statement reads: “During interrogation, the suspect confessed to being the spiritual leader to some notorious bandits hibernating in Niger, FCT Abuja, and Nasarawa States.
“During his last conversation with his gang on the same date at about 0720hrs, he directed them to go ahead with the operation and assured them of success.
“He also promised to pray for the release of a suspected bandit known as ‘Julli’ currently in police custody in Abuja. The suspect will be transferred to the FCT (Police) Command, Abuja for further investigation.”
In a similar development, Abiodun also revealed that the Police from Lapai Division of the state had four days (on Tuesday) before the arrest of the bandit spiritual leader, intercepted and arrested four suspected cattle rustlers.
The arrest took place at a forest located on a boundary between Niger State and Abuja.
Those arrested were identified as Abubakar Buba – 27, Shehu Jare – 20, Abubakar Garba – 44, and Abubakar Na’Allah – 25.
Forty cows and fifteen sheep were recovered from the suspects.
“During interrogation, the suspects claimed to be rearing cattle in the said forests but could not give a satisfactory account of the cattle in their possession,” the Police spokesperson said.
“The case is under investigation while the suspects will be arraigned in court for prosecution immediately after the investigation is concluded,” he added.