- Two victims paid N1.5m ransom
Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
A crack team of police detectives from Abuja has arrested 33 kidnappers in a mosque at Odo-Ape along Obajana-Kabba road in Kogi State, while holding a meeting for their next operation.
THISDAY gathered that the kidnappers drawn from all the axis of Obajana road were exposed by ‘one of them’ who happens to be a police detective planted in the group.
According to a source, the police detective was the one who allegedly summoned an emergency meeting of all the kidnappers on the highway to discuss how to tackle the issue of Police breathing down their necks.
The meeting was to hold immediately after prayers on Friday. However, the crack team from Abuja was called in during prayers after two of the three doors of the mosque had been shut.
All suspected kidnappers were identified and handcuffed and taken to Abuja. Even the ones who shot and killed people during their operations were also identified by the undercover police officer.
The Special Adviser on Security to Kogi State Governor, Commodore Jerry Omodara (rtd), who confirmed the arrest to journalists yesterday said all the 33 suspects were taken to Abuja for further interrogation, stressing that the state government was committed to the crack down of crime in the state.
He mentioned that the effort of the Police crack detective team from Abuja was yielding good result, pointing out that the state government will do every thing possible to protect lives and property in the state.
Meanwhile, Mr. John Orenibi and Mr. Salman Idris that were kidnapped along Lokoja- Okene road last week Saturday have been released by the kidnappers after paying N1.5 million as ransom.
Orenibi, while speaking with THISDAY yesterday, said he and three other persons namely Salman Idris, Mr. Kolade Fagbemi and Mr. Idowu Omole were on their way from Abuja to Ogidi to attend the Ogidi Day last Saturday when they came across some six masked men heavily armed with dangerous weapons before Mark Farms.
He noted that the suspected kidnappers had already robbed passengers in a Siena bus parked by the road side, adding that immediately they saw them coming in a Hilux van the kidnappers flagged them down.
According to Orenibi, the incident took place some few kilometres from a police check point, noting that the kidnappers shot Idowu Omole on his hand and head but survived, while Kolade Fagbemi ran into the bush and then escaped.
He said the kidnappers then marched him and Mr. Salman Idris into the bush and they were made to trek for four hours before they got to their hide out closer to Fulani settlement.
According to Orenibi, the leader of the kidnappers who speaks English and French languages fluently told them that he was a member of Boko Haram before and that both of them have to cooperate if they want to go home alive.
He further said that despite the fact that the six kidnappers were masked, their physical looks and intonations were that of Fulani men.
He stated that they also met some other people that they kidnapped as some of them were bleeding as a result of hardship they went through and also as a result of the serious beaten they received from the Kidnappers.
Orenibi said after several contact and negotiations with his people, they paid N1.5 million as ransom to the kidnappers before they were released the following day.
He disclosed that Idowu Omole is presently receiving treatments in the hospital as he called on the state government to intestify efforts toward eradicating armed robbery, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state saying if the situation is not brought under control it will definitely affect the economic development of the state.