The Kwara State Police Command’s anti-kidnapping agents have detained five suspected kidnappers.
The five suspects are members of two distinct kidnapping gangs.
Babagida Buguda, 30, a kingpin, Bashiru Yakuba, 35, and Mohammed Umaru, 26, are all members of the first gang.
The suspects were described by the state police commissioner, Paul Odama, at the state police command headquarters in Ilorin on Wednesday. According to him, they were detained on December 20, 2022, in Oro-Ago, Ifelodun Local Government of the state.
Two locally made firearms and two mobile phones were among the items purportedly recovered from them, according to the police chief.
“On the 9th November 2022, at about 5:45 pm, one Mr. Shina Luke Abiodun of Eruku town in Ekiti Local Government Area of Kwara State, and one other, while riding on a motorcycle on their way from Egbe in Kogi State, were accosted at Koro village near Eruku town by men numbering about six, who emerged from the bush armed with guns and other dangerous weapons,” claims Odama.
“The thugs opened fire on them, injuring them with gunshots. But they managed to flee the attack and make their way to the kidnapping patrol squad that was stationed in Eruku town.
One Tecno phone was found after the squad arrived on the site. On December 20, 2022, the kingpin and two of his gang members were apprehended in Oro-Ago, Ifelodun LGA, Kwara state after forensic analysis of the phone by the investigators.
According to the police commissioner, the suspects admitted after questioning that they were behind kidnapping operations in the states of Ekiti, Kogi, and Kwara, respectively.
“One of their victims and his six-year-old son traveled from Ekiti State to identify them and corroborate that they were taken hostage by the accused for six days and only freed after paying N6 million.
The police commissioner said, “The accused also admitted to have also slain one Inspector Segun Ayegbulu of the NSCDC posted to Ekiti Command.”
Two pistols built locally were recovered as a result of more investigation, he claimed, and efforts are still being made to apprehend the gang’s eluding members and seize the other weapons they are carrying.
The second group of alleged kidnappers, including Garuba Abubakar, alias Elero, of Lokongoma Village and Abubakar Adam of Ile Nam, Oke-Ode, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, were apprehended in connection with the alleged abduction of 15-year-old Abubakar Mohammed along Oke-Ode-Share Road in Ifelodun Local Government of Kwara State.
“On December 12, 2022, intelligence available to the command indicated that one Abubakar Mohammed, 15, was kidnapped along Oke-Ode – Share road, Ifelodun LGA, Kwara State,” the Police Commissioner writes in his account.
The State Intelligent Bureau (SIB) and regular Police from the Oke-Ode Division were sent by the Commissioner of Police in response to the report.
Two members of the kidnapping ring, Garuba Abubakar nicknamed Elero of Lokongoma village and Abubakar Adam of Ile Nam Oke-Ode, Ifelodun LGA, Kwara State, were apprehended after a thorough investigation.
He revealed that they admitted paying the victim’s N500,000 ransom and receiving it.
The head of the gang, Chairman Rabiu, who is now at large, is reported to be in charge of the group’s gun and always took custody of all ransom money, as confessed by two apprehended suspects, according to CP Paul Odama.
He said that while efforts are being made to have him apprehended, the other suspects would soon be charged in court.
The police commissioner advised them to leave the state after pledging that the command would make Kwara State unwelcoming for criminals.