By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJA â€” THE State Security Service (SSS) paraded, in Abuja, yesterday, three undergraduates of the University of Abuja and a suspected fraudster who allegedly attempted to kidnap two ministers in order to demand N300 million ransom, and force the Federal Government to sign an agreement with ASUU ending the on-going strike action.
The ministers targeted by the suspects are Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN) of the Labour and Productivity Ministry and Dr Sam Egwu of the Education Ministry.
The mastermind and suspected fraudster, Abdallah Alfa (58) told newsmen that he was to offer the undergraduates N4 million after a successful operation.
He said they were to be mobilised with N1 million before the operation, while the N3 million balance was to be paid after the assignment.
He however said no kobo had exchanged hands before they were nabbed by the Police.
He said he was also to provide other logistics, like cars, which the boys were to use for the job.
The University of Abuja undergraduates who also took turns to confess to their alleged role in the kidnap plot are Kingsley Njoku Obi, Aniabor Ochuko (aka Kelly Handsome) and Chilaka Rowland (aka Peace).
Obi (23) is a 400 Level student of political Science at the university; Ochuko (27), a native of Oha Town, Okpe Local Government Area of Delta state is a diploma student of the university while Rowland (28) from Ahiabo Mbaise Local Government of Imo state is a final year student of Political Science of the university.
Although the three undergraduates and self-acclaimed mastermind said they did not have any previous criminal record, one of them, Rowland, had already confessed his membership of Black Axe Confraternity to the SSS.
Leader of the gang, Alfa, who first denied knowledge of the kidnap plot, later told newsmen that he entered into the deal with the undergraduates with the aim of making money and bringing the ongoing ASUU strike to an end.
He said he had played prominent roles in the past to end ASUU strikes but he did not say what exactly he did.
He said his contributions to the ASUU strikes in 2003, 2007, 2008 and 2009 were on record.
Alfa, according to the SSS, hails from Kogi state, had a primary school education but he speaks the Queenâ€™s English.
Although he faltered when he was asked what he was doing for a living, he later told newsmen yesterday that he was a businessman.
But the SSS told newsmen yesterday that their investigations revealed that Alfa is an incurable fraudster given his antecedent.
They said he was linked with a number of 419 cases in the past.
He was bold all through the parade session but he was sweating profusely.
Kidnappers planned to kill Egwu
His accomplices also explained that the agreement between them and their paymaster was to kill Dr Sam Egwu in detention and free Prince Kayode (SAN) after collecting the N300 million ransom.
The Assistant Director, Public Relations of the Service, Marilyn Ogar, who first briefed newsmen yesterday before allowing them to interact with the accused persons said the 58-year old Alfa popularly called the Ambassador who initiated the plot, recruited students for kidnapping assignment under the guise that the kidnapping was meant to end the on-going impasse between the Academic Staff Union of the Universities [ASUU] and the Federal Government.
â€œThe choice of using students for the operation was ostensibly to make the exercise and the subsequent demands appear as if it was geared towards ending the Federal Government and ASUU crisisâ€, Ogar stated.
She said preliminary investigation showed that the plot was to forcefully end the seemingly unending strike action.
â€œWhile three of these are students of the University of Abuja, preliminary investigation showed that the plan was designed to serve as a forceful way of ending the on-going strike actionâ€, Ogar stated.
She also said upon the successful kidnap of the Ministers, Egwu was â€œto be forced to sign an alleged agreement with ASUU.â€
The suspects were also to demand the sum of three hundred million naira from the Federal Government as a precondition for the release of the ministers.
She lamented that instead of an old man like Alfa serving a role model to the younger ones (students), he â€œcajoled them into embarking on the nefarious act, thus capitalising on their seeming frustrations and desperations to go back to school by all means.â€
She advised parents and guardians to monitor their children and wards closely to ensure that they do not fall prey to the likes of Alfa.
â€œWhile he (Alfa) hails from Dekina, Kogi state, he claims to be Hausa from Kanoâ€, she pointed out.
She said the essence of the press briefing was to draw the attention of parents to the possibility that Alfa may have recruited other kids in different parts of the country for such criminal acts and to implore them to be vigilant.
She added that the service would hand over the quartet to the police before the close of business for necessary action.
â€œWe have done our bit, we will now hand them over to the police for prosecutionâ€, she stated.