The call by many Nigerians on government to be wary of the purported repentant Boko Haram terrorists has gained credence with the arrest of three bandits on the payroll of Katsina State.
The suspected bandits claimed to have repented and were employed by the office of the Special Adviser to the state government on security in order to help strengthen the fight against banditry in the state.
However, instead of doing their job as expected, they were rather using it to rob and defraud people and were arrested by the Katsina State Police Command in connection with an attempted robbery attack.
The police spokesman in Katsina State paraded the suspects before journalists on Wednesday.
The command disclosed that the government was not aware that the suspected bandits while pretending to have repented still engaged in robbery and cattle rustling until they were exposed in a foiled attack by the police.
According to SP Gambo, the arrested suspects who were on the government payroll enjoy the sum of N110,000 monthly as salary by the state government.
The hoodlums who confessed to have committed the crime were identified as Abdullahi Mai-Rafi 43, of Kofar Marusa Lowcost, Katsina, Abbas Haruna alias Dogo-Abbas 34, of Filin Polo Quarters, Katsina, and Usman Hassan, (aka Manu) 50, of Ganuwa village, Charanchi LGA of Katsina State.
“The trio went to Danmarke forest, Ingawa LGA, with a motor vehicle – Toyota Camry, ash in colour, with registration number DE 631 LED, attacked a herder, one Alhaji Gide Suleiman of Malumafashi LGA while grazing his animals, with machetes and sticks, threatened him and his boys that they were from the office of the Special Adviser on Security to His Excellency, with a false allegation that their brother, Ine Sa’idu had robbed one Lawal of his herds and that they should either produce the said Saidu or bring hundred (100) cows. After some scuffles, the suspects succeeded in robbing the said Alhaji Gide Suleiman of his twenty (20) cows valued at seven million, five hundred and fifty thousand naira (N7,550,000:00K) with the intention of taking them to the said Lawal as compensation for his stolen cows as falsely alleged by them. They also searched and robbed them of the sum of forty thousand (N40,000:00) Naira and four (4) GSM handsets.
“Subsequently, the same syndicate of Abdullahi Mai-Rafi and three (3) others, attacked the complainant on the same false allegation and attempted to rob him of another set of twenty cows and some sheep, but nemesis caught up with them when they were rounded up and arrested by the command.
“In the course of investigation, the suspects confessed to the commission of the offences.The Gang leader, Abdullahi Mai-Rafi confessed to have conspired with the others and sold all the cows at Dankama market, Kaita LGA of the state. Two cows and the sum of four hundred and forty-four thousand Naira were recovered as exhibits from them.
“It may interest you to know that Abdullahi Mai-Rafi was a notorious bandit but repented and was working with the state government under the office of S. A. State security,” Gambo said.