SARS Arrests Three for Kidnapping, Murder of Two BDC Operators in Lagos

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Chiemelie Ezeobi

Three suspected members of a robbery/ kidnap gang, who allegedly abducted and murdered two Bureau de Change (BDC) operators last month at the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, have been arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state Police Command.

The victims, Alhaji Yakubu Musa and Alhaji Hassan Umoru, had gone for a monetary transaction with the gang on March 14, 2019, unknown to them that they were embarking on a trip to their death.

The gang members were said to have taken them to an abandoned building at the Odogunyan area of Ikorodu, where they were bound and shot dead.

This was after they had paid N1.6 million ransoms into an account provided by the gang to secure their release.

The state Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, was said to have directed SARS to investigate the matter after the duo was reported missing.

However, during investigation and subsequent arrest of three of the gang members, Oluwatosin Olarewaju, Mayowa Olawuni and Babatunde Idris, the bodies of the victims were trailed to a septic tank in an abandoned building in Odogunyan.

Narrating how they killed the victims, one of the suspects, Olarewaju, said: “Pencil (the suspected leader of the gang) and I planned the deal but the intention was not to kill them. Pencil said I should convince the operators that an Alhaja wanted to change $10,000.

“The operators came on a motorbike and called us from Trailer Park bus-stop in Odogunyan. Pencil directed his own commercial motorcyclists to take the operators to a boys quarter (BQ) around Odogunyan.

“By the time I joined them at the BQ, I met them lying down with their hands bound. Pencil asked me to lie on the floor too in order to make it look like I don’t have a hand in the game.

“Pencil told them that the Alhaja they came to meet owed him $10,000 and that his gang had come to collect the money. They started beating the operators. I also received my fair share of the beating to make it look real.

“The operators then promised to give them money for their freedom. Pencil instructed them to transfer the money into one Femi’s account. But when Pencil called to know if the money had been paid, the account holder said i“At that point, he changed the game plan. He threatened to kill me alongside the operators if he did not receive alert on the payment. He said he suspected I was playing pranks by asking the person at the other end not to reveal he had received the bank alert.

“He said if he did not receive the alert by 4.55p.m., he would kill all of us. At that point, one of the operators suggested that another account should be given to him to pay into. That was when I contacted Oluwafunmilayo, the nurse that treated me when I was sick. The operator paid in N1.6 million into that account.

“By 8p.m. same day, they tore the operators clothes and used it to cover their mouths. He took one of the operators to the back and later sent for the second one. He shot both of them dead and said that was the only way to cover up our tracks, since the operators already knew me.”

Afterwards, the trio contacted the nurse and they withdrew the money and shared the proceeds.

As at press time, the police said efforts are ongoing to arrest other fleeing members of the gang.