Lagos command nabs vigilante operatives, recovers guns

Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja and Rebecca Ejifoma in Lagos

The Kogi State Police Command has arrested five notorious kidnappers who were responsible for kidnapping and robbing people along Okene-Lokoja road.

This is coming as the police in Lagos State yesterday paraded two agents of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) for alleged unlawful possession of firearms, radio devices and other prohibited equipment.

Among those paraded yesterday by the Kogi State police command were those who abducted Rev. Leo Micheal and Usman Adoga, the chief of Jakura community recently.

Parading the suspected kidnappers before journalists, the state Police Commissioner, Ali Janga, said the five suspects were arrested based on intelligent report following a tip off.

According to him, one of the suspect, Ibrahim Musa, who was part of the gang which abducted the above-mentioned people, gave useful information to the police, adding that the command is on the trail of other suspects connected with that incidents.

The police commissioner further alleged that the sum of N240,000 was collected from the arrested suspect.

He therefore appealed to members of the public to always avail the command of information on negative happenings around them in order to flush out criminals from the state.

Janga said the sum of N1.1million was paid as ransom to the gang members before the Chief of Jakura was released, noting that the command will arraign the suspects immediately they complete their investigation.

One of the suspect, Musa, confessed to have taken part in the said kidnapping operation, saying one of the gang members, Shagari, shot and killed the son of the Chief of Jakura in one of their operations.

Musa, who hails from Niger State, said he was into kidnapping and armed robbery for many years, adding that he relocated to Kogi State with others to continue making money from criminal activities.

Also speaking with journalists, the Jakura chief, Usman Adoga, who was released, said he ran into the group and unfortunately lost his son in the process.

He stressed that he was taken to unknown place in the bush where he spent five days before he was released.

The police in Lagos State yesterday paraded two agents of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) for alleged unlawful possession of firearms, radio devices and other prohibited equipment.

The suspects, Adekoya Adeniyi, 40, and Elliot Oluwaseyi, 44, were arrested on July 28 after the command received complaints that Adeniyi also obtained money under false pretenses.

According to the state Police Commissioner, Imohimi Edgal, detectives from the Human Right desk went to Adeniyi’s house. They searched his home and discovered three firearms.

“The police also found radio devices, which I suspect were being used to intercept police coded messages,” he added.

Edgal disclosed that during interrogation, the suspect confessed that he got the items recovered from his house from Oluwaseyi, who was also arrested and paraded.

“I am disappointed in them. How did they get the four radios and the police belt? Who programmed the radio for them? Where did they get the firearms with them? All vigilante groups and private individuals were directed by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to return all firearms in their possession.

“Why did they still have them? What were they doing with handcuffs? The suspects will definitely have their day in court,” Edgal assured journalists.

Reacting to his arrests, Oluwaseyi stated that many people knew him because he worked for a lot of communities.

“I did not procure these uniforms myself. We got them from our organisation, VGN. This is our mode of dressing. We bought these shirts at Police College when we went for training in 2015,” he explained.

He stated further that they bought everything they got from the Police College, adding that the head of their organisation was aware of the case. “I’m working on it already. I have never used these arms for crime or to kill anyone before,” Oluwaseyi adde

He said: “We are just using them for security purposes because of the environment we live in. Terrible things happen in Ikorodu everyday. Many people know me. The community recognises me. I work with them. I am not the owner of these charms, I am just into security.”