Kogi Police kill political thug behind death of PDP Women Leader in 2019


After evading arrest for three years, Kabir Bala, alias Okwo, the notorious thug allegedly behind the 2019 burning of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) woman leader, Mrs Salome Abuh, has been killed.

Kogi State Commissioner of Police Akeem Yusuf disclosed this at a security press briefing in Lokoja on Thursday.

He said the suspect was killed by the police on Thursday morning when he and his gang members, on sighting the joint security team, opened fire on them and started shooting sporadically.

CP Yusuf recalled that Bala, who was pardoned in October 2018 by the Kogi State Government, had remained an unrepentant criminal.

CP Yusuf said the deceased criminal was dealing in illegal arms and was responsible for kidnappings and killings in the state.

He said: “Several cases had been traced to him, such as the burning alive of Mrs Salome Abuh, PDP woman leader in Ofu LGA, at her residence on November 18, 2019, in Ochadamu; the killing of two Igala youths, Umoru Areh and Unekwu Sule, on April 20, 2022, at Ejule; the killing of five Fulani herders, namely, Ibrahim, Haruna, and Shuaibu along Alloma Road, Ofu LGA, in April 2022; and Muhammed and Dauda at Imoko in Ofu LGA on March 3, 2023.

“Other crimes committed by Kabir Bala and his gang include the attack on troops of the Nigerian Navy and dispossessing them of four rifles at Alloma village on March 4, 2022. Though the firearms were later returned to the Navy following a high-powered intervention; an attack on Elisha Aya, pastor and founder of Kingdom Faith Assembly Ejule on March 13, 2022, who later paid one million naira to Bala as a levy for establishing a church; an invasion of Egane Fulani settlement, burning 213 huts and rustling 122 cows on December 25, 2022.”

Other crimes of the late Kabir Bala include the assault on the Lord’s Chosen Church, Ejule, on January 29, 2023, for disturbing his hotel with their service, during which Joy Abuh, one of the worshippers, sustained a gunshot injury on her left hand.

He was also alleged to be responsible for seven kidnappings along the Itobe-Anyigba highway between May 5 and 28, 2023.

According to the Commissioner of Police, the state pardon granted to Kabir Bala in 2018 was revoked at the State Security Council meeting held on June 20, 2023.

Security agencies were subsequently directed to arrest him immediately for prosecution.

Divulging the other resolutions from the State Security Meeting, CP Yusuf said: “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 the peace of the State. Joint operations should be set up comprising the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, DSS and Civil Defence to go after Kabir Bala and his gang to arrest them and recover the arms in their possession.”

Items recovered from the deceased include an AK-47 rifle with three fully loaded magazines, six locally fabricated weapons, two mobile phones, and charms.

CP Yusuf reiterated that the ongoing onslaught against criminal activities will be sustained to ensure the safety of lives and properties in the state.

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