The Nigerian Military has captured a dreaded bandit leader and cattle rustler, Alhaji Goma Sama’ila.
Sama’ila, who was arrested in Kaduna State last Friday evening promised never to go back into the business of kidnapping and cattle rustling as he pleaded for mercy.
Having practised for 20 years, the 47-year-old bandit leader confessed to having kidnapped many people, with the help of his gang members.
He further listed the names of his gang members and their victims.
He said, “My name is Alhaji Goma Sama’ila. I am 47 years old. I have been involved in kidnapping.”
Speaking on his kidnap escapades, he said: “The first person is Abdul, his family paid a ransom of two hundred thousand naira (N200, 000), Alhaji Umaru gave us five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000), another person is Alhaji Birau, his family paid the total sum of three million naira (N3 million) and the other person is Alhaji Ibrahim who also paid seven hundred thousand naira (N700, 000).
“We have been chasing cows and all of us are from the North. People operating along this Ragachucku axis are: Lawal isah, Awalu, Bature Goma, Gamji, Sule, and the rest. They kidnapped someone and were given the sum of 10 million naira, they also killed one woman; that was the information we got about them.
“In my group, the number of people working within Ragachucku axis are Yusuf, Sule, Gomi, Nasiru, Tukur, Banki, Magaji. Then in the Kirama axis, there is Musa, Kadi, Oria, Ibrahim, Bala, Rebo, Gaia, Malan, Usama, Babangida, Abubakar, and Sule, I forgot the other one's name. He later left us to join Babangida, Suleiman, and Sule.”
He further pleaded for forgiveness, promising never to go into banditry again. “I promise this will be the first and the last and I promise never to touch anything belonging to anyone ever again. I am pleading for mercy and forgiveness and I will never commit such offence again,” he said.
One of the military men further asked if Sama’ila can take them to where the rest of his gang are operating and where they keep the arms used in operating, he answered in the affirmative adding, “Yes because anyone that stands for truth is always with God,” he said.
Eyewitnesses reports indicated that Sama’ila was responsible for organising several thefts of cows in Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, and other North-West states of Nigeria.
He was said to have participated in several abductions across the states.
Kaduna State has been plagued with several high-profile kidnappings, mass murder, and cattle rustling by bandits.
A source said, “Nigerian troops arrested Goma Sama’ila, one of the 'most wanted” and notorious bandits’ leaders terrorising Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and other northwestern states in Nigeria.”
The development comes amid military interventions in the region.
SaharaReporters had reported how the Nigerian Communications Commission in a letter to all telecoms operators suspended mobile communications in Zamfara and other states.
In the memo signed by the NCC and directed at the telecos, the suspension of services lasted between September 3 through September 17 in the first instance.
The commission had also said the directive was to enable relevant security agencies to carry out required activities towards addressing the security challenge in the state.
Katsina, despite being the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, has witnessed sporadic attacks by bandits and kidnappers that have claimed the lives of many.
Over 700 people have been reportedly killed by the gunmen in Jibia, Kankara, Dutsinma, Musawa, Danmusa, and Safana LGAs of the state in the last five months.
Sokoto State Government had also shut down telecommunications networks in 14 of the 23 local government areas of the state as part of the efforts to check banditry.