The Nigerian Army on Wednesday, confirmed the arrest of the mastermind responsible for the killing of the Ardo of Panyam in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State, Alhaji Adamu Idris Gabdo.
According to a statement from the Army via its account on the social media platform, X, the mastermind is one Philip Gokas aka Jaykimo who was arrested in Lagos State by troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN(OPSH) Tactical Team.
The statement added that Gokas has already confessed to carrying out the crime.
It added that the suspect has already given information that would lead to the arrest of his collaborators in the coming days.
The Army statement reads: “The main mastermind behind the murder of the slain Alhaji Adamu Idris Gabdo, the Ardo of Panyam in Mangu Local Government Area of Plateau State has been apprehended by troops of Operation SAFE HAVEN(OPSH) Tactical Team.
“The arrest of Mr Philip Gokas also known as Jaykimo in Lagos State was following weeks of painstaking manhunt to bring the criminal to Justice.
“The relentless pursuit by OPSH led to his tracking and subsequent arrest in the Ogba area of Lagos State, where he was found enjoying himself and drinking beer at a football viewing centre.
“The arrest of Mr. Philip Gokas is a testament to the commitment and unwavering dedication of OPSH and the effectiveness of collaborative efforts.
“Mr. Gokas has fully confessed to the crime and has provided crucial information that will aid in the arrest of additional individuals involved in this heinous act in the coming days.
“This development serves as a clear warning to criminals that they cannot elude justice as security agencies retain the capacity and resilience to utilise all elements of national power to hold them accountable as directed by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen CG Musa.
“Recall that, following the murder of the Ardo Panyam, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, directed Operation SAFE HAVEN (OPSH) to recover the body of the deceased, which was successfully accomplished by the OPSH Tactical team in a remote area of Bauchi state and handed over to the family for burial.
The directive further charged the troops to quickly hunt down the perpetrators and bring them to justice to prevent reprisals and fresh circle of violence after the peace being enjoyed on the Plateau consequent upon the launch of Operation HAKORIN DAMISA IV.
“The breakthrough also signifies a milestone in our pursuit for justice. We therefore remain steadfast in our commitment to maintaining peace and security on the Plateau and its environs. We will continue to work tirelessly to prevent any escalation of violence.
“The General officer Commanding 3 Division and Commander Operation SAFE HAVEN, Maj Gen AE Abubakar expresses his heartfelt appreciation to the public for their support and cooperation throughout this investigation.
“The recovery of the body of the late Ardo of Panyam and the subsequent arrest of Mr Philip Gokas would not have been possible without the invaluable assistance and information provided by the community.
“He further reiterated that the criminal act was perpetrated by a few bad eggs in the society and does not represent the intent of the good people of Panyam who have lived for years peacefully with their Fulani brothers.
“The GOC further commended the troops especially the Tactical Team for their tireless efforts, professionalism, and unwavering commitment during the operation in far away Lagos.”
The Army further assured the public that its efforts to ensure the safety and security of all citizens will not waver and remains paramount, adding that they will continue to work closely with relevant stakeholders and engage in continuous dialogue to foster peace and tranquillity in the area.