Security operatives on Thursday neutralized a notorious gang leader, Kabir Bala during a gun duel with his gang members in Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi.
The deceased was said to be involved in many crimes, including the burning to death of a PDP woman leader in her house in 2019.
The Police Commissioner (CP) in the state, Akeeem Yusuf, made the announcement during a press briefing in Lokoja.
Yusuf said Bala who has been engaged in illegal arms dealings, kidnappings and killings across the state, met his death after engaging security operatives in a gun duel.
“Kogi State Government in October, 2018 had granted pardon in prerogative of mercy as part of rehabilitation to Kabir Bala.
“But consequent upon the decision reached at the State security meeting on the upsurge of criminal activities in the State, it was revoked.
“We agreed during a security meeting to set up a Joint Operation comprising the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, DSS, Civil Defence to go after Kabir Bala and his gang to arrest them and recover the arms in their possession.
“Today, around 4.30 a.m. the operatives went to his resident to arrest him, but he and his gang members on sighting the joint security team, opened fire on them and started shooting sporadically.
“The team engaged the hoodlums and the said Kabir Bala was neutralized in the process while other members of his gang escaped with varying degrees of injuries,” he said.
The CP reeled out the alleged atrocities committed by Bala and his gang.
“Several past cases traced to him include, the burning alive of Mrs Salome Abu, a PDP Woman Leader in Ofu LGA in her residence on Nov. 18, 2019 at Ochadamu.
“Killing of two Igala youths: Umoru Areh and Unukwu Sule on April 20, 2022 at Ejule and the killing of five Fulani herders in April 2022 and March 3, 2023 in Ofu LGA.
“He was also responsible for seven kidnappings along Itobe-Anyigba highway from May 5 to May 28, 2023.
“Other crimes committed by Kabir Bala and his gang are: Attack on troops of Nigerian Navy and disposesing them of four Rifles at Alloma village on March 4, 2022.
“Attack on Elisha Aya, Pastor and founder of Kingdom Faith Assembly Ejule on March 18, 2022, who later paid One Million Naira to Bala as levy for establishing a Church, among others.”
Yusuf said one AK 47 Rifle with three fully loaded magazines, six locally fabricated weapons, two phones and charms were recovered from the house.
“The ongoing onslaught against criminal activities will be sustained to ensure the safety of lives and properties in the state,” he added. (NAN)