U.S. praises Nigeria police for arresting kidnappers of American citizen

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Tibor Nagy, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, has commended the Nigeria Police Force over the arrest of two kidnappers of Philippe Nathan Walton.

Mr Walton, an American citizen, was kidnapped at his farm in Masalata Village, Republic of Niger, sometimes in October.

Recall that the U.S. government sent the special naval warfare team, also known as Team Seal six, to rescue Mr Walton.

However, recently, the Nigeria police authorities announced the arrest of Aliyu Abdullahi, 21, and Aliyu Umaru, 23, both from Sokoto State.

The Nigeria Police said the two are members of a 15-man kidnap gang of Nigerian/Nigerien extraction, led by Barte Dan Alhaji and Dan Buda.

They were arrested following a special intelligence-led operation aimed at arresting the criminal gang, disrupting and halting other criminal activities by them.

“Investigations by the Intelligence Response Team reveal that the gang was plotting other abductions to avenge the death of their cohorts – 4 Nigeriens and 2 Nigerians who died during the rescue operations. The Force is collaborating with its Nigerien counterpart in the investigations to apprehend other members of the transnational syndicate currently at large.

“Meanwhile, as part of efforts at tackling transnational crimes, the Inspector General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni is working in concert with other members of the West African Police Chiefs Organization (WAPCO) to deepen intelligence sharing amongst security agencies in the ECOWAS sub-region and strengthen security along the international borders of member States. The suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigations.”

Meanwhile, in his reaction, Mr Nagy wrote on Twitter: “We applaud the Nigeria Police Force for successfully pursuing the ring that kidnapped an American citizen in October.

“The arrests of two of his kidnappers demonstrate our shared interest in stemming kidnapping and other forms of violence in Nigeria.”

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