Few hours after the United States Department of State, granted authorised departure status to the Embassy of the United States, Abuja, residents of the Trademore Estate in Abuja, were on Tuesday night thrown into confusion as security forces reportedly raided the premises following a tip off on the presence of a terrorist.
The sting operation in the Phase 4 section of the estate had led to a complete shutdown of the area, as armed intelligence personnel and others suspected to be American special forces, swooped on a building where a middle aged man was picked up.
A resident confirmed the raid.
He said a message was dispatched to residents by the leadership of the estate to keep them abreast on the latest development.
He disclosed that residents have been warned by security agents not to divulge further information to the media, warning that there would be repercussions and possible arrest.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, has, however, dismissed the rumoured sting operation as fake.
Its spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, spoke on the command’s WhatsApp platform while reacting to questions from journalists.
However, the message to residents read: “It’s no longer news that there was a High Powered Sting Operation in Phase 3 this afternoon, culminating in a complete shutdown of our estate. A combination of American Army and our DSS team were responsible.
“We are unable to give full details of the reason(s) behind the operation, however, we can confirm that there was an allegation of terrorist activities.
“It is therefore desperately incumbent on every resident to remain vigilant, KNOW YOUR NEIGHBOURS and report any suspicious movement, person or activities to the Exco, Street Reps and/the Police.
“We will continue to do our utmost best to keep the estate safe for all of us. Everyone is responsible for security and there should no iota of abdication of this responsibility.
“Finally, let’s remain calm and continue to carry out our daily activities within the parameters of the Law. God bless and protect us all.”
According to a resident, the suspect who was picked up, has claimed innocence, alleging that he was set up by a governor in the North Central zone based on political differences.
“Yes, there was a raid. Boxes of grenades and other explosives were recovered. Two pistols were also allegedly recovered, from what we heard.
“Although, it was learnt that the suspect had plans to attack three churches in the area, I cannot immediately confirm that,” he stated.
The development at Trademore came a day after men dressed in Nigerian Navy woodland camouflage trousers and “Special Forces” shirt picked up one Shafiu, a native of Kogi State in the Lugbe area of Abuja.
Shafiu, a death row inmate at the Suleja Custodial Centre was, however, released in controversial circumstances just weeks to the 2019 general election.
He was picked up by a squad led by a certain Lt. Charles, just few days after declaring support for one of the opposition parties.