- Suspects admit collecting N1.5 million ransom
By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on Tuesday paraded eleven suspected kidnappers of the Sierra Leonean Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, Major Gen. Alfred Claude-Nelson, who was kidnapped along Kaduna-Abuja highway on June 30.
Briefing the media on how the suspects were arrested in Kaduna, the Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comissioner of Police, Donald Awunah, said they were apprehended through coordinated operation by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Meanwhile, the leader of the gang, Alhaji Rabiu Yusuf, who gave his age at 45, in response to a question admitted that the gang collected N1.5 million as ransom before he was released.
Speaking further, Awunah, said: “Arrangement will soon be concluded to charge them to court. We want to let you know that the Nigeria Police has smashed this eleven man kidnap gang that had for some time now terrorized Kaduna State, the FCT and other North-central States of Nigeria.
“This dare devil criminal gang was responsible for the abduction of the Sierra-Leonean Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Maj. Gen. Alfred Claude-Nelson on June 30, 2016, the Executive Director of Dangote Group and many other high profile kidnap for ransom in recent times.”
According to him, the modus operandi of the criminal elements includes mounting road blocks on highways in Military uniforms, surprise attack on unsuspecting motorist and relocating from one point to other in the forest with their victims to avoid detection and arrest.
He said: “To this end, the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the IGP Monitoring Unit, the Nigeria Police on July 2, 2016 carried out tactical surveillance of the Abuja-Kaduna axis and all the adjoining States.
“This coordinated operation led to the arrest of eleven members of the notorious gang that has been terrorizing the North-Central States of the country with arms and ammunition recovered from them.”
The paraded suspects, according to the Force Spokesman include: “Alhaji Garba Abubakar, aka Habu Aged 27yrs, Yusuf Adamu, Aged 20, Hussaini Musa, Aged 25, Shuaibu Idris, Aged 35, Usman Bello, Aged 20, Musa Ali, Aged 45, Muhammadu Abubakar , Aged 30, Suleiman Abubakar, Aged 25yrs, Gambo Ibrahim, Aged 25, and Balarabe Mohammadu, aged 32 years”
In another development, a source who craved for anonymity said there was a mild protest by a handful of aggrieved senior officers who complaint bitterly of being on the same position since 2010, though it was quickly nipped in the bud, he added.