THE kidnappers terrorising, maiming and killing travellers along the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway have been arrested and paraded to newsmen in Ibadan.
The suspected kidnapper are, Bashiru Abubakar a.k.a Maku-Maku, Babuga Umaru (27) and Mohammed Umar (30).
Abubakar and others were arrested after they struck at Onigaari axis on the expressway on January 7, killed a commercial driver, shot a passenger and kidnapped four victims.
Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, the State Commissioner of Police, Ngozi Onadeko, said that after the incident, the Command, apart from sending operatives into the forest surrounding the area to comb it for the rescue of the victims, swiftly deployed intelligence to fish out the perpetrators.
This, she said, led to Abubakar’s arrest, and during interrogation, he mentioned Babuga Umaru, Bellel, Ibrahim, Buyo, Habu Kosoko, Danliti and one with the appellation ‘Ontop’, currently at large with surnames unknown, as members with whom he carried out the kidnap operations.
Abubakar also confessed that on January 6, at about 8 pm, he used his motorcycle to convey Bellel and Ibrahim into the bush at Onigaari where they alighted before striking the following day.
He opened up on his role as the supplier of food and hard drugs to the kidnap gang members whenever they were in the forest.
He also said that he was given N10,000 for his role, with the promise that a motorcycle would be purchased for him.
The Police Commissioner said that preliminary investigation indicated that the arrested suspects had knowledge of the January 7 kidnap operations, while the forensic analysis of their phone numbers linked them up with the crime.
Two of the victims, Opaleye Folahan and one Sekinat Tiamiyu were said to have identified the suspects as part of those that kidnapped them.
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Folahan, who narrated his experience to journalists, said he was coming from Lagos State with his heavily-pregnant wife and daughter when the kidnappers emerged at about 8 pm and shot him in the neck.
He stated further that they initially took him, his wife and daughter into the bush but shortly after setting the wife and daughter free, in order to facilitate quick payment of ransom. Folahan said that he paid N2.75 million as ransom before he was released.
Also shown to journalists were another six kidnap suspects who were arrested in a brothel at Akinyele area of Ibadan on January 11 at about 2:30 am through intelligence-driven surveillance by operatives of the State Anti-Kidnapping Squad (AKS), led by Olawale Tiamiyu, a Chief Superintendent of Police.
The six suspects were Adamu Abdullahi, Umaru Faruq Mohammed, Sanda Bawu, Abubakar Siddiku, Haruna Musa, and Aliyu Abubakar.
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According to the Police boss, further Investigations had revealed that Mohammed and Sanda Bawu had been arrested on July 10, 2021, in connection with the kidnap of one Alhaji Garba Monde at Iwere-Ile town in the Oke Ogun area of the State, and were arraigned with two other suspects at the Chief Magistrates’ Court 6, Iyaganku, Ibadan on July 19, 2021, with charge number MI/723C/2021.
She said that they were remanded at Abolongo Correctional Centre but escaped during the jailbreak on October 23, 2021.
She added that Abdullahi confessed to his roles in most kidnap operations along Idi-Ayunre/ Ijebu-Ode Road.
The third kidnap syndicate members also operating along the Ibadan-Lagos expressway who were arrested included Aliyu Umaru, Isiaka Ibrahim and Tambaya Usman Shehu.
Shehu, also a member of another kidnap syndicate operating in Lagos-Ibadan expressway, was said to have been picked from his hideout at Akingbola area of Bodija Ibadan on January 27, at about 2:30 am.
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During interrogation, Shehu, who was also involved in armed robbery, disclosed that in one of the kidnappings, his syndicate collected a ransom ofN3.5 million He also mentioned his syndicate members presently on the run, while two motorcycles being used by Umaru and Ibrahim for kidnap activities were recovered.
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