The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mukaddas Garba, made the disclosure while briefing journalists on Thursday in Makurdi on the security situation during the yuletide celebration.
Garba said the festive season was relatively hitch-free with pockets of incidents in parts of the state.
He identified lack of effective information flow as the major challenge faced by the command in 2019, adding that the situation,however, improved during the festive period.
He said that the collaboration with sister security agencies and Benue communities had improved so much that the people now had tremendous confidence in the force and, therefore, shared confidential information with it.
The commissioner said the partnership further resulted in the arrest of 26 suspects for alleged kidnapping, armed robbery and theft among other crimes, as well as recovery of 205 live ammunition, one car and nine motorcycles during the yuletide season, NAN reports.
“Actually, the major challenge we had when we came on board was lack of information, but with the synergy we have with our sister agencies and communities the situation has changed.
“The information flow during the festive period was perfect and you are all living witnesses to the hitch-free celebration. We had no major incident that could have disrupted the activities of people who came home for the celebration.
“And I think there is significant improvement in the relationship we are having with members of the public. Information flow was our major problem but now there is no hitch. People are having confidence in us because we gave them assurance that their information would be treated in confidence,”he said
According to Garba, the command received a complaint that “an unknown person who introduced himself as Gana boy threatened to kidnap and kill the complainant if he doesn’t send money to him”.
He said that investigation led to the arrest of one Aondona Gbakaan, a politician and his boys; Sughen and Terkimbi Orjime who before their arrest had already collected N200,000 as ransom from the complainant.
He said the command also arrested Usman Saleh and Ibrahim Usman on Dec. 27, 2019 with 200 rounds of live ammunitions during a Stop and Search operation at Tyomu, village, while they were on transit in a red Toyota Corolla car conveying other passengers.
The commissioner also said that the command had on Dec. 30, 2019 arrested Yogbo Terhile, Samuel Iorbee and Tyoor Aondowase who were specialists in snatching motorcycles and robbing commuters in Gboko.
He said investigations further led to the arrest of Msughue Kpechir, Paul Ianna, Aondowase Avishi, Terkimbi Bai and Terfa for receiving stolen property and Doosuur Uba, a lady, for being in possession of a motorcycle master key for the gang.
He further said that the command had on Dec. 24, 2019 arrested one Matthew Aondongu with a stolen Hyundai Elantra car with registration number: NC LSR 922 DR.
According to the commissioner, the car was allegedly stolen at Von Garden, Airport Road, Abuja, and was seen heading toward Benue, adding that the suspect was arrested at Jato by officers in Aliade, Gwer East Local Government Area.
He also said that the command had on Dec. 31, 2019 arrested one Louis Tyovenda, who was caught vandalising street lights in Makurdi and was almost lynched by an angry mob.
He commended the Benue Government, traditional/religious leaders and the entire people of the state for their support toward making Benue safe for all.
Affairsofnaija Reports (AON)