The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has vowed that he would ensure that no criminal enterprise flourishes undetected, as perpetrators would be apprehended, just as he said that six suspects who allegedly kidnapped a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bagudu Hirse, have been arrested.
Parading the suspects, including a woman, in Abuja on Monday, the Force Public Relations Officer, Don Awunah, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, who spoke on behalf of the IGP, said that he (IGP) had been concerned about the spate of kidnappings and other related violent crimes throughout the country.
Awunah gave the names of the suspects as Dominic Nwakpa a.k.a Alhaji who was said to be the gang leader, Ifeanyi Chukwu (second in command), Balat Paul (driver of the gang), Ibrahim Samuel a.k.a IB, Jatau Peter (a dismissed policeman), Afini Paul, younger sister to the driver of the gang and also owner of the house where kidnapped victims were kept, and Clinton Abere.
Clinton was said to be in hospital following injuries he sustained from gunshots while trying to escape through the window of the hotel he lodged into in Lagos State.
Recovered from the suspects were two English-made pump action guns, 131 rounds of AK 47 ammunition, police camouflage uniform, two military baseball caps, two operational vehicles, handset phone used for negotiation and collection of ransom, a red face mask, anti-car tracking device and one black criminal charm jacket.
According to Awunah, “on January 1, 2017 at about 1130 hours (11: 30 am, operatives attached to the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), after a sustained surveillance, smashed the vicious and very notorious kidnap-for-ransom gang that had been terrorising Kaduna and neighbouring states, as well as responsible for the kidnap of several important personalities in the recent past.
“The gang was smashed with the arrest of Dominic a.k.a Alhaji, in Lagos State, while Balat, Ibrahim a.k.a ‘IB’ and Jatau were arrested on the same day in their hideouts at Dan Hassan Road, Ungwa Boro, Kaduna. Also, Afini, a female member who cooked for the gang and the victims, rented the house at Yusuf Patrick Close, Mararaba Rido, Kaduna where victims were kept before ransom money would be collected, was arrested in Kaduna while Ifeanyi, the second in command of the gang, was arrested in a Hotel in Agbor Hill area of Abia State.
“Ifeanyi confessed to being the second in command of the gang that kidnapped the Ambassador and carried out so many other kidnappings within and outside Kaduna, Abia, Imo, Rivers, and Delta states.”
The Force PRO stated further that upon interrogation, the suspects confessed to being members of the criminal gang that kidnapped Hirse on November 20, 2016 in GRA, Kaduna and collected N10 million as ransom before he was released.
The same gang reportedly confessed to the kidnap of one Dr. Abdulmalik Durunguwa and his wife in their residence at different intervals in Kaduna. Ransom was also collected by the gang from the family of the victims before they were released.
Speaking further, DCP Awunah said: “A member of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Honourable Ibrahim Samaila, was also kidnapped by the gang on August 26, 2016 at Abakpa area of Kaduna State while an undisclosed amount was collected as ransom by the gang before his release.
“On the 6th of January, 2017, Clinton was trailed to and arrested in a hotel in Lagos but jumped out of the window of his hotel room on sighting the operatives of the IGP’s Intelligence Response team (IRT). He is currently receiving treatment at Police Hospital from injury he sustained in the process of attempting to escape arrest.”
The Force PRO also showed journalists two suspects, Maisamari Dan Katsina (gang leader) and ex-Sergeant Bulus Jatau (a dismissed policeman) who were arrested in Kaduna State in connection with kidnapping and armed robbery.
He listed the exhibits recovered from them to include one pump-action gun with number 40311, Berretta Pistol with number AO7184Z, four English revolver pistols with numbers 72634, 25727, 9D09270 and G191X194, 50 rounds of 9mm live ammunition and an expended ammunition, 31 live cartridges, a fake firearm licence, a Golf car, a Prado SUV, a Toyota Cricket car, a Toyota Corolla car and a set of camouflage police uniform.”
Credit: Nigerian Tribune