- Parades 2 soldiers, 9 of her kidnappers
Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Don Awunah has admitted that the police authorities indeed used ransom to rescue wife of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mrs. Margret Emiefele and three of her aides.
Mrs Emiefele and her aides were abducted on September 29 at Oquneki Hills, along Benin-Agbor road in Delta State, but were swiftly rescued unhurt by the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT, and other tactical teams the following day.
The team also apprehended all the kidnappers, which included two soldiers and nine other suspects who are remotely or directly responsible for the dastardly act.
The victims have since been reunited with their families after debriefing.
Parading the 11 suspects before newsmen at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, yesterday, DCP Awunah stated that, “It is instructive to mention that money or ‘ransom’ is sometimes used as a bait or bargaining chip to save the lives of the victims of crime which is primary to security operatives.”
The force spokesman, however, said it was absolutely important to mention that the police do not and would not encourage payment of ransom.
“The relatives of victims of kidnap for ransom are strongly advised to exercise considerable caution to succumb in payment of ransom. It is inherently counterproductive. At all times of kidnap scenario, it is pertinent the Police are involved and trusted,” he said.
He promised that the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris was committed in ensuring that all forms of crime, fear of crime and particularly, kidnap for ransom and other violent crimes were brought to the lowest ebb throughout the country.
“Similarly, the IGP is determined in making sure that all those who are engaged in kidnappings, abductions and armed criminal activities will not escape Justice. To this end, the Nigeria Police will galvanise all available resources at its disposal to make sure miscreants, hoodlums and deviants have their day with the law.
“The police also recovered N14, 725,000, three vehicles (two Honda cars and an Audi car), one AK 47 magazine and two cartridges.
“The curtailment of the activities of kidnappers in our communities will be ultimately successful through the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders. There must be collective ownership of law enforcement.”
The force spokesman listed the identity of the kidnappers as NA/65/7115 Lance Corporal Musa Maidabara. The suspect is a 30 year old native of Katau Village in Billiri LGA of Gombe State. A Lance Corporal with the Nigerian Army serving at 122D30 Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State, he was arrested for the active role he played in the kidnap. Upon his arrest, he made a confessional statement to the police admitting to be part of the gang that kidnapped and collected ransom from the victim’s family. In the course of investigation into the crime, a jeep worth one million five hundred thousand naira and a sum of four million naira which was his own share of the ransom money was recovered from his possession. It was also discovered that he, in company of NA/65/6582 Lance Corporal Edwin George and one Ernest Anthony Uduefe, a dismissed soldier, while dressed in army uniform escorted some of the kidnappers and the ransom money in a maroon colour Audi car out of the forest where they had kept the victim to Benin City, Edo State.
“NA/65/6582 Lance Corporal Edwin George: A native of Otukpo town, Otukpo LGA of Benue State. He is personnel of the Nigerian Army serving at 122D Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State. As earlier mentioned, he was part of the trio that escorted the ransom money to Benin City, Edo State. A Honda car worth one million, one hundred thousand naira (N1,100,000) which he used part of his loot to purchase was recovered from him. The suspect was arrested on October 5, 2016, at about 1300hrs in his hometown.
“Ernest Anthony Uduefe: The suspect is 32 years old; he is a native of Igbuku village, Ndokwa East LGA of Delta State. He also volunteered a confessional statement to his involvement in the crime. Investigation revealed that he also bought a Honda car worth one million, five hundred thousand naira (N1,500,000) and furnished an apartment in Benin City, Edo State, within 48hrs of the kidnap incident. The sum of one million, five hundred thousand naira in cash and the said Honda car was recovered from him.
“Mohammed Abubakar (aka Dogo): The suspect is 30 years of age. He is a native of Mubi town in Mubi LGA of Adamawa State and the leader of the group. He confessed to the crime and admitted that he received the sum of eleven million naira (N11,000,000) in cash from the ransom paid. The suspect however claimed to have given one Danjuma who is presently on the run the said sum to keep for him.
“Mohammed Musa: The suspect is 26 years old and hails from Yabo LGA of Sokoto State. He also volunteered a confessional statement admitting that he is a member of the gang and also, that he received the sum of ten million naira (N10,000,000) from the ransom paid. He sustained bullet wounds after a gun duel with the Police while trying to leave the forest where they had kept the victim. The cash sum of seven million seven hundred thousand naira (7, 700,000) was recovered from him. Useful information was gotten from him that led to the arrest of other gang members.
“Mohammed Sule: He is 26 years old and a native of Awe village in Awe LGA of Nasarawa State. The suspect confessed to have received ten million naira (10,000,000) in cash as part of his share of ransom paid and claimed a soldier and a gang leader escaped with the loot.
“Ibrahim Abdullahi: He is a 30-year-old native of Fondogeri LGA of Niger State. He admitted to have received ten million naira (N10,000,000) in cash as part of his share of the ransom money.