THE Department of State Services has alerted the public to be weary of suspicious packages and persons, as celebration of the Eid-el-Fitr approaches.
It said that it was in possession of intelligence reports which indicated threat by extremist elements to attack selected locations in the country, particularly parks and congregations of worshippers.
This information was contained in a statement signed by the spokesperson for the DSS, Mr. Tony Opuiyo.
Nevertheless, he said that the DSS “will continue to deploy every window within its constituted mandate to ensure the security and safety of all law-abiding residents and citizens wherever they reside.”
Opuiyo added, “We therefore call on the general public to be security conscious and to report any suspicious persons/groups or activities to relevant security agencies.”
The Federal Government had declared Tuesday and Wednesday as public holidays to mark the Sallah celebration.
Meanwhile, Opuiyo stated that the DSS had arrested some suspected masterminds of kidnapping and other crimes in the country.
He said on June 7, Kabiru Shuaibu, who he described as the ring-leader of a kidnap gang, comprising others like Haruna Saleh, Tukur Shuaibu and Abdulmumuni Adamuna, were arrested by the Service along Murtala Muhammad Bridge, along Lokoja-Abuja Highway in Lokoja, Kogi State.
Opuiyo alleged that the suspects were part of a criminal gang which had been terrorising innocent citizens in the Northern region of the country.
Opuiyo said that during their arrest, a locally-made pistol, seven cartridges, 14 mobile phones and N615,000 were recovered from them.
The following day, one Reuben Akinbehinje, who he said was the leader of a notorious kidnap syndicate, was arrested by the Service in Akure, Ondo State, along with five accomplices.
He named the alleged members of the gang as John Imoleayo, Seun Lajuwon, Seun Akintayo, Lateef Fayemi and Saheed Oyewo.
Opuiyo said the gang was the brain behind the kidnap of two Catholic nuns in the state and other criminalities such as armed robbery, hijack and diversion of fuel tankers activities in Ondo, Oyo, Osun, Lagos and Kwara states.
Similarly, on June 12, he said that the DSS arrested one Ifeanyi Onyike, a suspected kidnap kingpin at D-line, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Onyike was allegedly involved in the kidnap of Ebere Chinsa, wife to Igo Chinda, the Personal Assistant to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi.
On June 25, in one of the North-Western States, Opuiyo stated that one Sani Abdullahi and his three accomplices, namely Rufai Abdullahi, Najeeb Abubakar and Abdullahi Ahmed, were also apprehended.
He alleged that the group had concluded arrangements to embark on serial kidnap of high-value targets in Katsina State, before their arrest.
This gang, he said, had hitherto been terrorising the North-Western states of Kano, Katsina, Kebbi and Zamfara.
In a bid to stem the activities of vandals in the Niger Delta, he said the DSS effected the arrest of Selky Torughedi on June 17, in Calabar, Cross River State.
He said that the suspect was an ex-militant and suspected member of the Niger Delta Avengers.
Opuiyo described the suspect as “a close associate of Government Ekpemupolo (aka Tompolo).”