The Katsina State government earlier in the month placed a ban on selling fuel in jerry cans over insecurity challenges.
Five persons including a foreigner have been arrested by the police in Katsina State, Northwest Nigeria for allegedly supplying petroleum products to terrorists locally known as ‘bandits’, police said in a statement.
Gambo Isah, the police spokesperson in the state said the suspects were arrested along Katsina – Jibia road while on their way into the forest, including one Lawal Shu’aibu from Niger Republic.
According to Isah, the suspects confessed to the acts of selling the fuel in jerry cans around the forest “contrary to the executive order and other extant laws of the federation.”
“On Sept., 18, 2021, based on credible intelligence, the command succeeded in arresting a 32-year-old man from Maradi, Niger Republic, conveying fuel in a Passat vehicle,” he said.
Another 28-year-old man, a resident of Magamar Jibia, was also arrested conveying fuel in his Passat vehicle, while another 50-year-old man, a resident of Daddara village, in Jibia Local Government Area (LGA), also suspected to be conveying fuel in his Golf III car was arrested.
“We also succeeded in arresting a 57-year-old male suspect of Kofar Guga Quarters, conveying fuel in his vehicle.”
According to Isah, another 25-year-old suspect was trailed to an uncompleted building where he was arrested.
The suspect, said to hail from Anguwan Nakaba village, Sabuwa LGA, was believed to be a fuel supplier for terrorists in the forest.
“The fact of the matter was that the suspect was observed to have been frequently coming to buy fuel at a filling station in Dandume LGA in his motorcycle, a Jincheng rubber.”
“Consequently, police detectives on surveillance patrol at the said filling station secretly followed him, which led them into an uncompleted building where he was arrested while transferring the fuel into a Jerry can.”
“In the course of the investigation, the suspect confessed to the commission of the offense and further stated that he came all the way from Sabuwa LGA to buy the fuel and take it to the forest.”
In a similar development, a 30-year-old man suspected to be an informant who also specialises in supplying bread to bandits in the forest was arrested from Sabon Garin MotsoMotso, Zandam village, Jibia LGA.
“After several warnings by both community leaders and security agencies asking him to stop supplying bread to bandits in the forest, the suspect was subsequently arrested with some quantity of bread concealed inside a sack while trying to enter the forest,” Isah added.
Earlier in the month, the state government placed a ban on selling fuel in jerry cans over insecurity challenges. It also said only two filling stations were allowed to sell fuel worth N5000 to motorists in 14 LGAs in the state.