The suspected terrorists were recently arrested by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team IRT Led by DCP Abba Kyari.
They are Mustapha Aminu (23), Saidu Aminu (26), Aminu Shuaibu (33), Yusuf Abubakar (24), all from Kaduna State.
Others were Ishak Khalid (30), Awal Tela (34), and Abubakar Mustafa (32) from Plateau State, Abubakar Muhammad (25) from Kano State, and Shuaibu Ahmadu (25) from Katsina State.
The group was said to have collected a ransom of N120m before releasing the captives. Gang members were reportedly given between N200, 000 and N300, 000 each.
Gang leaders, one Aliyu Sokoto and Mus’ab, also reportedly sent a threat email to the company’s managing director seeking a yearly payment of N50m to stop kidnapping the company’s expatriates.
It was also discovered that the group was responsible for the kidnapping of the Magajin Garin Daura in Katsina State and the attack on Mothercat Construction Company in Kaduna State among many other Attacks and kidnappings in Northern Nigeria.
Speaking to CityRound during the week, Mustapha recounted that his father handed him over to one Mamoud, who taught him how to shoot Guns and drive their operational vehicles.
He said, “My job was to run errands until I was able to travel to Libya for training. I normally assist them to buy food and sometimes watch over the people that were kidnapped.
“When I was converted, they told us we were fighting against the Nigerian government. They made us believe that when we take over Nigeria, our families would become millionaires and own houses in Abuja. I was placed on N100, 000 monthly allowance.”
Mustapha’s elder brother, Saidu, said he was 17 years old and in his final year in secondary school when his father, a member of the group who was arrested by the police last year, asked him to withdraw from school and join the terror gang.
As soon as I was converted in 2015, I was sent to Libya for training. I was supposed to be in the field, so my training was more of how to survive during a war. They told us that if we were trained there, we would experience real fighting between the government and our members. I was there for just six months before I had an accident and they had to cut two of my fingers.
“I was driving our operational jeep when I unknowingly fell into a ditch. They said I could not continue with my training, so I was sent back home. Back in Nigeria, I was told to go and learn how to sew clothes and that I would assist them when the need arose. By this, no one would suspect that I belong to the group. They would send money to my account and I would help them buy items that they needed to survive in the bush,” he said.
Shuaibu, 29, said he was enticed to the group by one Mamoud sometime in 2015 while they prayed at the mosque.
He said, “After prayers, we would hang out and discuss life. I was a member of the Izala Muslim Movement and we normally gathered for prayers and to listen to lectures from the imam. Mamoud was the one that told me about Ansaru and that I would make more money if I became a member. He explained to me that we were fighting the cause of Allah and I would also have the opportunity to travel to Libya.
“Three years ago, I was one of the members who were drafted to go to Libya to assist in fighting against their government. On getting to Libya, I was drafted to work at their clinic.”
Meanwhile, the Police IRT is continuing the investigations and efforts are in progress to arrest the remaining members of the terror group.
Several Rifles, 204 rounds of AK-47 live ammunition, military uniforms, vehicles, drugs, foodstuffs, and charms were recovered from them.