The Lagos cattle sellers identified Alhaji Ago Atine, Alawani Abubakar, Mohammed Shagari and Bashiru Aliyu, reportedly funded bandits who attacked Tsafe, Zurmi, Shinkafi, Maradun, Maru and Brinin-Magaji local government areas of Zamfara state by allegedly buying stolen cows from them.
The suspects who were arrested in Agege area of Lagos, reportedly funded the bandits who on December 29, 2018, ambushed a team of soldiers on patrol along Doburu Forest in the Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamafra State, using rocket-propelled grenades on them.
The bandits who have killed many residents of the state,using the proceeds of the stolen cows to buy guns and other lethal weapons in Libya, also attacked a police anti-rustling team in the state, killing 15 members of the team.
Punch reported that the gang’s source of funds for procuring sophisticated weapons was recently revealed when operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team arrested its commander in Zurmi.
“Twin sisters, Hassana and Hussaina Bala, were kidnapped in October 2018 in Dauran Village, Zurmi Local Government Area. A ransom of N15m was paid before the girls were released, but one of the suspects arrested in connection with the kidnapping, Nafiu Usman, alias Baba Doctor, who happens to be the sub commander of a group of bandits operating in Zurmi, confessed that his boss, one Dankarimi, the overall commander in Zurmi, had been sourcing funds to procure arms and ammunition.
“The N15m ransom was shared among sub commanders working for Dankarimi. Usman said he got N500,000 as his share. He also confessed that his group ambushed and killed a team of soldiers on patrol at Doburu Forest. He confessed that he bought the weapons in Libya and identified one Alhaji Naira as the person who provided the funds they used in buying the arms. He said members of the gang rustled cows for Alhaji Naira, who brought them to Lagos for sale” a senior police officer said.
Usman reportedly led police operatives to arrest Alhaji Naira, who then mentioned the four cattle sellers at Abattoir as the receivers. It was also gathered that the four suspects, who are natives of Zamfara State, were reportedly arrested while selling some of the rustled cows to unsuspecting buyers.
50-year-old Atine who said he has bought over 400 cows from Alhaji Naira, stated thathe was not aware that the cows were stolen.
He said, “I have received over 400 cows from Alhaji Naira. I sold the cows at Abattoir. I sent the money to Alhaji Naira’s bank account after sales. I bought the cows from him at low prices. He sold each cow to me for between N60,000 and N70,000 and I sold each for between N170,000 and N180,000. I don’t know what Alhaji does with the money and I didn’t know that the cows were stolen.”