A fake Army Captain, Monday Akawu who specialized in stealing musical instruments from churches in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has been arrested by the Nigeria police, Abuja .
Monday Akawu 39-year-old indigene of Nasarawa State, is said to be a member of a criminal syndicate that robbed more than 30 churches within Nyanya and Karu axis of the FCT.
He was paraded alongside his accomplice, Joseph Orazulike, 35 years of EFAB Estate Maraba, Karu, who is a regular buyer of those stolen items.
Parading the suspects in Abuja, CP Frank Mba, Force Spokesperson disclosed that the suspects have committed a “sacrilegious act” and thereby urged church leaders to provide “more security around their churches.”
The suspect, Akawu confessed that, he has participated in the burglary of at least 16 churches located in Nasarawa and some parts of Abuja. He also said most of the churches he robbed include The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM).
According to him, “I usually dressed in Army uniform to beat security checks after each robbery. I am here because I stole from the church. I have so far stolen from 16 churches which include Mountain of Fire Ministries and Redeemed Church of God.
“When I break into church, my boss taught me to bring those instruments out while a vehicle comes with Nigeria Army uniforms; I now change into the uniform in order to bypass security on the road.
“I usually sell each piano keyboard between 60,000 to 90,000 naira depending on how neat they are.”
Monday is said to be an ex-convict who was imprisoned at Kuja Prison over a rape case while Joseph was also arrested before for receiving stolen items.
Fielding questions from journalists CP Mba stated the suspects including the receiver of the stolen instruments were arrested in recent operations through various investigative breakthroughs by operatives of the special Tactical squad in Abuja. 50 suspects were altogether arrested for engaging in various crimes. Amongst them were 48 males and two females.
Mba disclosed that the suspects have been indicted for different offences ranging from murder, kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery, car theft, illegal possessions of prohibited firearms, possession and distribution of illicit drugs among other offences established against them.
According o him, items recovered from the arrested suspects include: 26 assorted firearms, made up 13 AK 47 rifles, four soft machine guns, four locally made pistols, four Dane guns among others.
Similarly, other firearms recovered are 2, 701 live ammunition of AK 47, 20 live GPMG ammunition, 12 Piano Keyboard and other electronics appliances stolen from churches. He added that investigations conducted showed how Monday Akawu, the principal suspect was long walked in a pathway to crime.
The suspect, he explained, has come to the “end of the road as the force would do everything possible within the law to ensure that he spent the remaining years in jail.”
This is as he urged Churches in Abuja and across the country to ensure physical security in and around the churches as investigation with the suspects indicated clear that the suspects considered the churches vulnerable and weak targets because they believe that they are no guards or security of any sort provided.
“We encourage church operators and leaders not just to provide human guards but also install cameras in their churches and ensure sufficient lighting in and around your churches.
“In addition, we are also calling on all church leaders in and around Abuja that might have been affected in recent time to visit STS office with means of identification to recover their stolen items.
Meanwhile, three suspected kidnappers who are members of a 25-man gang involved in the kidnap of 126 Bethel Baptist School students in Kaduna were also paraded.
The suspects, Isiaka Lawal, 26, Muazu Abubakar, 27 and Adamu Bello, 27 were arrested following painstaking investigation by the Operatives.
According to Mba, “Muazu Abubakar did a surveillance of the Bethel School, understood the security architecture of the area and informed his syndicate members before the attack.”
He also stated that, because of active investigation that’s ongoing to track and arrest the remaining suspects, he would not like to speak much on the matter.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.