The criminal gang, "Shilla boys" operating in Yola, Adamawa State, may have been dismantled temporarily by a combined team of security operatives comprising the Police and the Department of State Services (DSS).

However, fears are being nursed in some quarters regarding a possible rebound of the gang due to a popular notion that the miscreants were being shielded by security operatives.

Shilla boys, who operate with tricycles, are notorious for raping underage girls, petty robbery and other sundry crimes.

The gang had for some time enjoyed it's reign of terror, particularly on young unsuspecting girls who may require the services of 'Keke Napep', the only commuter vehicle within Yola metropolis and environs.

Before their riddance, Shilla boys impeded social activities, especially nightlife, as most young ladies avoided hanging out beyond 7pm for the fear of boarding one of their tricycles.

Numbering about 70 boys, whose ages range between 14 and 20 years, they operate from a a government-owned agricultural facility (Lake Gerio), which they nicknamed 'Sambisa Forest' just to invoke terror in the minds of their victims.

Interestingly, the "open hideout", which is on the Doubeli bypass just before the bridge linking the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, is also a thriving market for illicit drugs.

Besides raping girls, the teenage gang also specializes in robbing unsuspecting commuters, using dangerous weapons, including jackknifes and pistols, among others.

Before the latest raid on the hideout, the boys recently engaged the police in a battle, leading to the death of two policemen. This took place barely a fortnight after the group was reported to have ripped a young lady's belly open sometime in March.

The death of the young, innocent girl sparked public outrage, just as it is believed to have triggered the latest move against them, especially with rumours making the rounds that the boys were being shielded by an unnamed security agency.

However, it would appear that the boys have finally met their Waterloo, seeing for the first time, DSS and Police operatives coordinate and storme the 'Sambisa Forest and a popular Ghandi night club where they often pry for their victims.

As things stand, all the boys arrested, numbering 50, have been arraigned before Magistrate Japheth Ibrahim Basami of the Nassarawo Area Court in Yola.

SP Othman Abubakar of the state police command expressed disappointment that "some of the latest suspects have been part of those earlier arraigned". 

He therefore wondered how they found their way back to the society.

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