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Police nab kidnappers’ gang leader linked to Catholic church attack

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Operatives of the Kaduna State Police Command arrested a suspected notorious kidnappers’ ring leader, Saidu Yakubu, also known as “Ismail.”

The group was said to be behind the September 7, 2023, attack on St. Raphael Catholic Church, Fadan Kamanta, Kafanchan Diocese, in Jema’ah Local Government Area of Kaduna State, which resulted in the destruction of the parish house and the killing of a seminarian, Na’aman Danladi.

In a statement released on Saturday, the state police public relations officer, ASP Mansir Hassan, stated that the arrest was made in coordination with military personnel.

Hassan stated that the suspect had admitted to his involvement in the incident.

He said, “In a commendable display of swift action and dedication to public safety, the Kaduna State Police Command, under the leadership of Commissioner Ali Dabigi, has successfully apprehended a notorious kidnapper, Yakubu Saidu, also known as Ismail ‘M’, who was involved in banditry, culpable homicide, and mischief by fire.

“On September 7, 2023, at approximately 2030 hrs, the Officer in Charge of Fadan Kamanta, Zonkwa, alerted authorities of a distressing situation at St. Raphael Catholic Church, Kamantan, where suspected kidnappers had launched an attack. Despite the urgency of the situation, police operatives, in collaboration with military personnel, swiftly mobilized to the scene.

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“Regrettably, the suspects had already set ablaze the priest’s residence before the arrival of the security personnel. Despite the valiant efforts, one seminarian, Stephen Naaman, tragically lost his life in the inferno, and property worth millions of naira, including a Honda vehicle and a motorcycle, was consumed by the fire.

“Due to diligence and the tireless pursuit of the issue by the police, on March 22, 2024, one Yakubu Saidu, the alleged mastermind and leader of the notorious kidnapping gang, was apprehended, and he confessed to his involvement in the heinous crime.”

He claimed that the state’s Commissioner of Police praised the police officers for their prompt and effective response to the distress call.

“Their dedication and bravery are a testament to their commitment to protecting the lives and property of the citizens of Kaduna State.”

The police spokesman further informed the public of the command’s unwavering commitment to fighting crime and ensuring the safety and security of all citizens of the state.

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