Kidnapping: I made N200m in 6 months – Suspect

Police operatives attached to Operation Puff Adder have arrested a nursing mother and 32 others involved in kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, car theft, and murder.

One of the suspects, Abubakar Umar, aka Buba Dogo, confessed to making N200million from kidnapping in six months.

The nursing mother, Esther Senior, found to be in possession of one AK47 rifle and 18 rounds of live ammunition, was arrested with the weapon concealed in a travelling bag while reportedly taking it to her gang members for a high profile kidnapping in Ogun state.

Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO) DCP Frank Mba said this Wednesday while parading the suspects before journalists at the Special Tactical Squad (STS) Headquarters in Abuja.

Mba, who said the arrests were made between June 5, and June 19, 2019; further said four of the suspects were alleged masterminds of the kidnap of UBEC Chairman, Dr. Mahmood Abubakar and his daughter.

The spokesperson said the suspects, who killed the UBEC boss driver during the operation, were arrested following massive manhunt launched to apprehend the fleeing members of the kidnap gang.

He said some gang members fled following the death of their leader and kidnap kingpin, Sumaila Sule aka Shaho, May 18, as a result of bullet injuries sustained during a shoot-out with police operatives.

Mba said the operatives also recovered 11 AK47 rifles; two pump action guns; three locally made pistols; 12 dane guns; two revolver pistols; 10 live cartridges; 77 live ammunition; and two Volkswagen vehicles.

Similarly, the FPRO said 28 ‘notorious’ kidnappers and armed robbers, including Dogo, were arrested within the period following raids on criminal hideouts in Kainji, New Bussa, Mariga Bangi, and Tsaragi in Niger and Kwara states respectively and Birnin Yero Forest along Birnin Gwari, Garu Rahama, Gaidan Gaya in Kaduna state.

Mba said the operatives also intercepted trucks conveying 1,972 bags of grains and 208 bags of beans to bandits’ hideout in the North-west thereby cutting off food supply to their stronghold.

Fielding questions from journalists, Esther said she was promised N5000 by her husband who asked her to deliver the bag to someone in the state.

She said, “On Wednesday, my husband, Bright Gbade, called me and asked me to go and deliver the bag to somebody in Ogun state.

“He did not even tell me the name of the person; he only told me that the person will call me. I did not know the content of the bag and they did not even allow me to carry the bag. They carried the bag themselves to the motor park. It was while we were on our way that the policemen searched the bag and found the gun in it.

“We have been married for two years and I did not know that my husband is a criminal. My husband said he is a fisherman when he was asking me out and before I accepted his proposal, he said he was one of the militants who surrendered their weapons during the amnesty programme.”

Similarly, Buba Dogo, who confessed to specialising in the kidnap of foreign nationals, claimed he made over N200 million from ransom in the last six months.

….80 arrested in Adamawa

Also, barely three weeks after the arrest of over 100 kidnappers and Shilla Boys in the state, the Adamawa state police command Wednesday arrested another set of 86 kidnappers and Shilla Boys terrorising people of the state.

Addressing journalists in Yola shortly before parading the criminals, the state Commissioner of Police, Audu Madaki, said the culprits had, during investigations, confessed to their sins and even assisted the police with relevant information that led to the arrest of some of their accomplices.

He gave the breakdown of the suspects to include 86 kidnappers and Shilla Boys, who were all arrested within the last two weeks and found with dangerous weapons, including  five AK 47,18 cartridges, 276 rounds of live ammunition, cutlasses, scissors, knives, charms, handsets, accessories, laptops, chemicals, Indian hemp among others.

The police commissioner further reiterated his commitment to rid the state of all forms of criminalities, saying he would not relent in his efforts to make the state safe for people to sleep with their two eyes closed.

He attributed the successes to synergy among security agencies in the state on the one hand, and between the police and other organisations such as the Miyetti Allah on the other.  

Madaki said the culprits would be arraigned in court of competent jurisdiction immediately to face the wrath of the law.

The police boss also said the ban on Keke NAPEP had drastically reduced crimes in the state and called on the general public to bear with the inconveniences for now in the collective interest of all.

Abductors of minister’s son

In a related development, the Oyo state Police Command has arrested three suspects in connection with the abduction of Dayo, a United Kingdom (UK) – trained son of the immediate past Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole.

He was abducted Tuesday evening by gunmen on his father’s farm at Iroko, a suburb of Ibadan, Oyo state.

Already, a combined team of military men, police and other security agencies are now combing Iroko and its environs in search of the abductee.

A top police source told our reporter the three suspects included the driver the victim employed few days ago, Mr. Gbenga Ogunleye; the Farm Manager, Mr. Sodiq Adebayo, and one other worker in the farm. 

It was learnt Adebayo was reportedly with Dayo when the kidnappers who were four in number stormed the poultry farm.

Speaking to journalists after visiting the farm where the minister’s son was abducted, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in charge of Zone 11, comprising Oyo, Osun and Ondo States, Mr. Leye Oyebade, said the police had launched a manhunt for the kidnappers.

He said the police would deploy their entire arsenal, including STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) in the operation to ensure his release.

“Actually, this incident is very unfortunate because it is coming after we have been able to map out a lot of strategy to address the challenge we are facing by these undesirable elements. From our inspection of the scene, interaction and interrogation of the workers, and those that were present at the scene, we can really say that the modus is changing, the tactic is changing, and their way of operating is changing. Since they now know that we have been able to cover the roads, they are now coming to isolated areas, looking for targets that can be approached, having monitored them. “

“With what we gathered here, the suspects covered their faces and the story that is being given, we are not ruling out the involvement of those that are very close, in this particular situation. But whatever it is, we are going to unmask those that are behind this, and that is the assurance I am giving to members of the public, “he said.

Oyebade further said: “The Inspector General of Police has given a mandate and on that mandate we stand that kidnapping will become highly unprofitable. With the system we are going to use now, with the application of STI and with the commitment and drive of police officers that have been deployed, we are going to uproot them.” 

The AIG then urged  the need for all and sundry to be security conscious, saying “in recruiting staff, employers must go beyond ordinary interviews, by ensuring  the potential employees bring collateral, get their photographs and do underground checking of the personality being considered for employment, either as driver, cook, or gatekeeper because many of them have tendencies to give out their principals to kidnappers or armed robbers.”

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