209 suspected criminals nabbed in Gombe: NSCDC

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) says it arrested no fewer than 209 suspected criminals in Gombe between August 29 and October 21.

Mohammed Mu’azu, the NSCDC commandant in Gombe, said this in an interview with journalists on Wednesday.

Mr Mu’azu said the 209 suspects had been taken to court, with 187 convicted, while the remaining 22 arrested for alleged involvement in homosexuality were still in court.

He explained that the command had stepped up surveillance and busted several hideouts, leading to several arrests of suspects involved in anti-social vices.

Mr Mu’azu also said personnel of the command had responded to the order of Governor Inuwa Yahaya of the state on the closure of nightclubs in Gombe used to perpetrate crimes, especially against minors.

The commandant noted that the rate at which anti-social vices thrived in the state was alarming and had become a concern for the command, hence the improved surveillance to address the menace.

“It is bad to find out that one or two out of every five suspects arrested during the raid on Gala houses (nightclubs), where these crimes were committed, turned out positive for HIV when tested,” stated Mr Mu’azu. “It is a tradition here that anyone arrested is subjected to a medical test, and this has helped us advise relevant stakeholders.”

On the command’s foiling of same-sex marriage on Saturday, Mr Mu’azu said the menace would not be condoned in Gombe. He warned those still involved in such acts to desist, as his personnel would not relent in bringing them to face the law.

“It will shock you to know that there is an NGO in the state that is providing resources to these young boys to support them in the practice of same-sex and homosexuality, telling them it is their right,” the NSCDC commandant said.

He added, “This NGO, I learned, is giving them (the arrested suspects) all forms of encouragement by supplying them condoms, lubricants, antibiotics, and even teaching them how to go about homosexuality. We are going to court to get a warrant before approaching the NGO because the future of our children is important to us.”

Mr Mu’azu appealed to the government at all levels, stakeholders, and parents to take proactive measures to address the issue of homosexuality before it becomes a major crisis for the country.