Notorious armed robbery gang leader granted pardon by govt neutralised in gun shootout with Police
The Kogi State police command says it has neutralized a notorious armed robbery leader, Kabir Bala alias (Okwo), who was granted pardon when caught during a duel with the joint security team in the state.
The state commissioner of police, CP Akeem A. Yusuf, who disclosed this at a press conference in Lokoja, on Thursday, said the incident occurred around 4:30 pm when the Kabir Bala and his gang members upon sighting the joint security team opened fire on them.
“The team engaged the hoodlums, in which the said Kabir Bala was neutralized in the process while other members of his gang escaped with varying degrees of injuries,” he said.
Yusuf, in a statement by the command spokesman, DSP Williams Ovye Ayah, which was issued to newsmen on Thursday, recalled that the Kogi State government in October 2018 granted a pardon in the prerogative of mercy as part of the rehabilitation to one notorious gang leader named Kabir Bala alias (OKWO) in Ejule, Ofu LGA.
According to him, the said Kabir Bala has remained an unrepentant criminal with lots of atrocities traced to him, which he said included dealing in illegal arms, kidnappings and killings across the state.
It was gathered that several cases had been traced to him such as the burning alive of one Mrs Salome Abu, a PDP woman Leader in Ofu LGA in her residence on the 18th November 2019 at Ochadamu, the killing of two Igala youths; Umoru Areh and Unekwu Sule on 20th April, 2022 at Ejule; the killing of herders, Ibrahim, Haruna and Shuaibu along Alloma Road, Ofu LGA in April 2022; as well as Muhammed and Dauda at Imoko in Ofu LGA on 3rd March 2023.
The commissioner said other crimes committed by Kabir Bala and his gang include the attack on troops of the Nigerian Navy and dispossessed them of four rifles at Alloma village on 4th March 2022, even as he said the firearms were later recovered and returned to the Navy following a high-powered intervention.
He added that Bala and his gangs were also responsible for the attack on the Pastor and founder of Kingdom Faith Assembly, Elisha Aya, in Ejule town on 18th March 2022, which he said one million was paid to Bala as a ‘levy’ for establishing a Church, and invasion of Egane Fulani settlement, where 213 huts burnt down and 122 cows were rustled on 25th December 2022 by Bala and his gangs.
“Also, the notorious armed robber and his gangs were responsible for an assault on the Lord’s Chosen Church, Ejule on 29 January 2023 for disturbing his Hotel with their service, during which Joy Abuh, a worshipper sustained gunshot injury on her left hand,” he added.
He stated that Bala and his gangs were also responsible for the kidnapping of seven persons along the Itobe-Anyigba highway between 5th to 28th May 2023.
“And based on the above facts, the decision reached at the state security council meeting held on 20th June 2023, that the state pardon granted to Kabir Bala in 2018 be revoked immediately,” he said.
Yusuf, however, disclosed that items recovered from the premises of Kabir Bala included one AK 47 Rifle with three fully loaded magazines, six locally fabricated weapons and two phones as well as charms.