Police Arrest Suspected Kidnappers in Ondo

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By James Sowole in Akure

The Ondo State Police Command at the weekend paraded five persons in connection with the kidnapping of a traditional ruler and an eight-year-old primary school pupil in the state.

While a cow seller, Usman Momodu, 30,  was arrested in connection with the kidnap of Oluyani of Iyani Akoko, Oba Joel Daodu on Owo-Oba Road last month,  an apprentice, Obinna Stephen, a native doctor, Eze Ifeanyi Okeke, Joel Carol and Christopher Anthony were arrested for the kidnap of an eight year old boy, Ezechiofoh Benproper.

The boy was kidnapped during a church service at Don Bosco Catholic Church, Araromi,  Akure, after he was lured by Stephen, who is an apprentice of the boy’s father.

Parading the men,  the state Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Hilda Ibuforo –Harrison, said Momodu was arrested with N112,000 cash with the wrapper of one of the old generation bank  suspected to be part of ransom collected from the family of the traditional ruler.

Also recovered from the suspect was a Nokia handset with the phone number which was used for negotiation of ransom.

Oba Daudu, was kidnapped by six armed men along Oba Akoko/Owo road and was released after three days when his family paid a ransom

On the kidnap of the boy,  the commissioner said  the apprentice reportedly engaged the services of the others to come to his masters church on Sunday and kidnap his son.

The apprentice was said to have lured the boy out of the church with a promise of  buying him ice cream and thereafter handed him over to his accomplices who took the boy away.

“The suspect returned back to the church and pretended as if nothing had happened.

“The boy was kept at the native doctor’s house in Akure and he did all the negotiation with the boy’s family and  requested for N10million ransom from father of the boy,” Harrison stated.

It was gathered that during police investigation, one of the church members reportedly informed the police that he saw Stephen putting the little boy on a motorcycle during the church service while being driven away.

The apprentice was said have confessed committing the crime  after leading detectives to the native doctors hideout at Omoniyi Street, Agbogbo in Akure where the victim was rescued.

It was gathered that other suspects were apprehended in the native doctor’s hideout while waiting for the father of the victim to pay the ransom.

The police commissioner said the cow seller was the leader of the gang that kidnapped the Oba.

She said the suspect had confessed to have committed the crime along with others, adding that efforts were on to arrest the fleeing members of the gang.

The commissioner said one locally made pistol, one berretal pistol, some live ammunition and two live cartridges were recovered from the  hideout of the suspects that kidnapped the eight-year-old pupil.

Harrison said the suspects would soon be arraigned in court at the conclusion of the investigation.