THE Katsina Police Command said it arrested Aisha Nura, the wife of a notorious bandit who was in possession of N2.4 million acquired through an arms deal.
Police Public Relations Officer Gambo Isah confirmed the arrest to The ICIR during a telephone interview on Saturday.
Isah said Nura was intercepted on July 25 around 9 pm while she was attempting to board a commercial motorcycle from Batsari town to Nahuta village in Katsina State.
“It was on the 25th July, around 0900 hours, she was sighted trying to conceal her presence, people became suspicious of her and we were alerted and immediately we searched her and we found out that she was concealing a sum of N2.4 million,” the Police said.
He stated that in the course of the investigation, Nura confessed that she was sent by her husband Nura Alhaji Murnai.
According to the police, his husband was a notorious bandit who belonged to a gang of bandits led by Abu Radda and has been on the security watchlist.
“She said the man sent her to Kaduna where she went to collect the money and it was a proceed of arms deal based on our investigation,” Isah said.
He noted that some weeks ago, the command had also arrested another male bandit who also supplied arms in Kaduna.
The Police spokesperson said over N4 million was recovered from him and he also confessed that it was a proceed of arms.
“He delivered about six AK-47rifles, out of which he gets a commission of N100,000 per AK-47 when he supplies them to bandits in Kaduna. It is in the same area that he was arrested that this woman (Nura) was arrested.
The Katsina Police command said the suspects are now in their custody as further investigations are being conducted.
Katsina is one of the states in the Northern region rocked by banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and other terrorism-related activities.
Governor of Kaduna state Nasir El-Rufai had said money recovered from banditry were being used to fund terrorism in the Northern part of Nigeria.
According to the governor, the kidnapping business had become a large industry in the North as the insurgents had food, drug, petrol suppliers as well as informants paid with the money recovered from kidnapping.
The most important finding is that the money from this kidnapping is substantially going towards funding terrorist operations of Ansaru in the North-West and the Boko Haram in the North-East,” he said while giving reasons the state government decided not to pay bandits or kidnappers.
Banditry in Northern Nigeria has graduated into terrorism as their violent engagements have become fierce in recent times. Two weeks ago, some ‘bandits’ shot down a fighter jet owned by the Nigerian Army.
A former director of information for the Nigerian Army, Sani Kukasheka Usman had said that until the proliferation of small and medium arms is controlled, Nigeria cannot address any conflict.
Kukasheka said this on Thursday 22nd July during a conflict reporting workshop organised by Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and the Premium Times Centre for Investigate Reporting (PTCIJ) in Abuja.
“We cannot end conflict in this country without addressing the proliferation of small and medium arms that has saturated the Nigerian society,” Kukasheka said.