LOKOJA Chief Magistrate Court has remanded three herdsmen in prison custody for allegedly kidnapping Gumale Musa and collecting the sum of N2.5 million ransom from his father before he was released. Chief Magistrate Levi Animoku handed the order on Wednesday in Lokoja in his primary ruling on arraignment of the accused, saying “the offences are grievous social vices prevalent in this community.” The accused, Idris Ahmodu (aka Alhaji Dare), Yusuf Ahmodu (aka Vatse), and Musa Ahmodu (aka Ortti) were charged with criminal conspiracy and kidnapping, contrary to various sections of relevant laws. In the ruling, Magistrate Animoku said, “The persons alleged are nomadic Fulanis. They go about the country seeking greener pastures for their cattle. The propensity to elope justice is high. “I decline to grant bail to them at this stage. Meanwhile, they shall be remanded at Federal Prisons, Koton- Karfe,” he said, adjourning the case to October 11 this year for further hearing. While presenting the accused before the court, the prosecuting police officer, Gabriel Otowu told the court that the matter was reported via a petition to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, by the victim’s father, Mallam Musa Abubakar of Fulani Camp, Ikende in Bassa Local Government of Kogi State. The prosecutor said that the accused “sometime in June criminally conspired, armed themselves with offensive weapons, including guns, cutlasses and sticks and invaded Musa Abubakar’s camp.” He said that the gang invaded the camp at about 3am, shooting sporadically, and in the process one of the complainant’s brothers, Alhaji Giwa that ran out to find out what was happening received their bullets and died on the spot. The prosecutor added that the gang further took hold of the deceased (Gumale), blindfolded him and forcefully took him to an unknown destination, and thereafter called to demand a ransom of N2.5 million. He said that Abubakar had to sell a substantial number of his cows to raise the money and meet the kidnappers’ demand before the son was released. He informed further that a month after the release of the victim, the same gang kidnapped his uncle, one Alhaji Ori, and demanded same amount for ransom. The prosecutor added that at their second attempt to pick the ransom, the three-man gang met their waterloo in the hands of Bassa vigilante group in collaboration with the IG Special Tactical Squad, Abuja. Explaining further, he said the joint effort led to the arrest of two members of the gang, Shaunaki and Banki, who were in custody of the kidnapped Mallam Ori. Arguing for bail of the accused, their counsel, S.A. Musa invoked section 36(5) of the constitution and 341(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, CPC, saying the accused were family men and responsible citizens, sand that one of them was an asthma patient.


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