The Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Akeem Yusuf, has revealed how Kabir Bala, an alleged suspected criminal terrorising the state and its environs, was killed on Thursday during a confrontation with Joint Security Team.
The Commissioner of Police told newsmen of the alleged criminal atrocities of Bala and how he was killed.
Yusuf said the state pardon earlier given to the deceased by the Kogi State Government was revoked.
He added that the decision to revoke his pardon was taken at a State Security Council Meeting.
The number one policeman in the state explained that the suspect had committed several atrocious acts, including the burning alive of one Salome Abu, the Woman Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ofu Local Government Area, in her residence on November 18, 2019 at Ochadamu, killing of five herdsmen, attacking troops of Nigerian Navy, attacking a Lord Chosen Church Pastor and engaging in kidnapping.
According to Yusuf, Bala was killed when he and his gang members allegedly opened fire on the Joint Security Team that came to arrest him.
His words: “It would be recalled that the Kogi State Government in October 2018 granted a pardon in the prerogative of mercy as part of rehabilitation to one notorious gang leader named Kabir Bala alias (OKWO) in Ejule, Ofu LGA.
“However, the said Kabir Bala remained an unrepentant criminal with lots of atrocities traced to him which includes dealing in illegal arms, kidnappings, and killings in the state.”
Yusuf said that several criminal cases were traced to Bala such as: “The burning alive of Mrs. Salome Abu, a PDP woman Leader in Ofu LGA in her residence on 18th November 2019 at Ochadamu, killing of two Igala youths; Umoru Areh and Unekwu Sule on 20th April 2022 at Ejule. The killing of five herdsmen namely, Ibrahim, Haruna, and Shuaibu along Alloma Road, Ofu LGA in April 2022 and Muhammed and Dauda at Imoko in Ofu LGA on 3rd March 2023.
“Other crimes committed by Kabir Bala and his gang attack on troops of Nigerian Navy and dispossessing them of four rifles at Alloma village on 4th of March 2022.
“Though, the firearms were later returned to the Navy following the high-powered intervention.
“Attack on Elisha Aya, Pastor and founder of Kingdom Faith Assembly Ejule on 18 March 2022 who later paid N1 million to Bala as levy for establishing a Church.
“Invasion of Egane Fulani settlement, burning 213, huts, rustled 122 cows on 25 December 2022.
“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 a gunshot injury on her left hand.
“He was also responsible for seven cases of kidnapping along the Itobe-Anyigba Highway from 5th to 28th May 2023. Based on the above facts, the decision reached at the ‘State Security Council meeting held on 20th June 2023, was that the state pardon granted to Kabir Bala in 2018 be revoked immediately.
“Security agencies must go after Kabir Bala and arrest him immediately for prosecution. All known agents of Kabir Bala in criminal activities must be apprehended to face the law.
“All illegal arms in the possession of criminals in that area should be recovered for peace of the State. Joint Operations should be set up comprising the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to go after Kabir Bala and his gang to arrest them and recover arms in their possession.”
Yusuf said on June 22 at about 4:30pm in pursuit of the above, Bala and his gang members on sighting the Joint Security team opened fire on them, shooting sporadically.
He added: “The team engaged the hoodlums.
“The said Kabir Bala was neutralised in the process while other members of his gang escaped with varying degrees of injuries.
“Items recovered from his premises include one AK 47 Rifle with three fully loaded magazines, six locally fabricated weapons, two phones and charms.”