By Emeka Okonkwo
Abuja — NIGERIAN police have arrested a 14-year-old girl on allegations of being a member of a kidnapping syndicate.
The minor, identified as Safiya Alh Yakubu, has been arrested during operations by the law enforcers in the northwestern Katsina State during operations that led to the apprehending of more than 30 suspects for crimes including robbery, stock theft and kidnapping.
Police reported that following her arrest at a criminal hideout, she confessed to being the wife and accomplice of the suspected ringleader of the kidnap gang.
Alh Yakubu is the suspected leader of the group and allegedly fled with three other suspects when police raided the alleged kidnappers’ den.
“Investigations are ongoing,” said Sanusi Buba, the Katsina Commissioner of Police.
He said the arrest of the suspect and other culprits was a fulfillment of a pledge he made when he assumed duty two months ago.
“I assured the good people of Katsina of their safety, peace and security. I also warned criminal elements to desist from criminality or leave the state because the police under my watch will have zero tolerance for criminality,” Buba said.
Africa’s biggest economy and most populous country, with over 190 million people, Nigeria is beset by violent crimes.
These include kidnappings, clashes between farmers and cattle herders over land and the insurgency by the Boko Haram sect.