The police in Zamfara State has arrested one Mohammed Dahiru, aka Pastor Emeka, a convict granted the pardon by the state government, for armed robbery and rape.
Dahiru was released under the peace initiative introduced by Governor Muhammed Matawalle to end banditry and kidnapping in the state because he was perceived to be a Fulani bandit.
The state Commissioner of Police, Usman Nagoggo, who paraded the suspect along with others at the police headquarters in Gusau on Thursday, stated that Dahiru was wrongly released from prison under the amnesty programme as he was not among the Fulani bandits, but was actually serving a jail term for car snatching and rape.
The CP described Dahiru as a notorious car snatcher and rapist, who had been terrorising the people of the state with four others, who were also arrested by the personnel of the Operation Puff Adder.
Nagoggo stated that apart from snatching vehicles, Dahiru and his gang members had gang-raped several women in the state in the presence of their family members.
He said the police had recovered four of the vehicles allegedly stolen by the suspects and sold to Niger Republic, adding, “They have already confessed their atrocities to the police.”
Dahiru told PUNCH Metro that he was originally a commercial bus driver in Abuja, but was introduced to car snatching and robbery by some persons who paid him a huge sum of money to convey them to Gusau.
He stated, “Some people came to our motor park and requested a driver to convey them to Gusau in Zamfara State and I agreed to render the service, because I didn’t know what their motive was. When we got to Gusau, they gave me a reasonable amount of money and asked for my phone number.
“So, from that time, we became friends and they later told me that they were car snatchers and asked if I could join them.”
He said as time went on, he became very popular among the gang and eventually took over the leadership of the group.
According to him, whenever they snatched an expensive vehicle, he was the one who would take it to Kangiwa in Kebbi State and deliver it to a dealer in stolen vehicles, one Mohammed Chadi, who would take it to Niger Republic for sale.
Explaining why he was being called Pastor Emeka, Dahiru said when he was arrested and sent to the Gusau Prison, he was chosen by some of the inmates to be their Imam and lead them in prayer, but some vehemently objected to it.
“I was chosen as the Imam by fellow inmates of the prison due to my knowledge, but some people refused to accept me as their Imam. So, I told them that from that day, I had converted to Christianity and I chose to be called Pastor Emeka. That was how the entire prison community started calling me Pastor Emeka instead of my real name, Mohammed Dahiru,” he stated.
He explained that he is a Gwari from the Federal Capital Territory.
Dahiru, however, denied being among those, who snatched the vehicle of a former commissioner in Zamfara State, Alhaji Ibrahim Bakura, who was later shot dead by the hoodlums.
The CP listed other arrested members of Dahiru’s gang as Abubakar Ahmed, Abubakar Ibrahim, Sani Garba and Sama’ila Abubakar.
According to him, eight other suspects – Mubarak Abdullahi, Sanusi Mohammed, Ahmed Bello, Usman Idris, Miss Abdullahi, Labaran Lauwali, Yasha’u Mamman and Lauwali Lalan – who are experts in snatching motorcycles, have also been apprehended.
Nagoggo stated that the police recovered 26 motorcycles stolen by the suspects and sold to people in different locations within the state.
“On October 4, 2019, personnel of the Operation Puff Adder attached to the Tudun Wada Division arrested the above-mentioned hoodlums, who had been terrorizing innocent people of Gusau and its environs with criminal activities ranging from armed robbery, house/shop breaking and snatching of vehicles and motorcycles at gunpoint,” he said.
Their recent atrocity, according to the CP, was at the house of a coordinator of the National Directorate of Employment in Zamfara State, where they made away with his official Toyota Hilux van at gunpoint and later took the vehicle to the Niger Republic for sale.
He stated that all the suspects had confessed to their crimes and led the police investigating team to Suleja in Niger State and Niger Republic, where three other stolen vehicles belonging to Nura Garba Daura of the Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State; Nasiru Ahmed of the Nasarawa Tudun Wada area of Gusau; and Ibrahim Sani of the Sabon Gari area, Gusau, were recovered.
“All the vehicles were stolen at gunpoint and in some of the cases, women were raped and subjected to all forms of humiliation,” Nagoggo added.
Source: Punch News