Some of the key players in the recent Olu Falae abduction saga, give a graphic account of the plot and successful execution of the project and how the long arm of the law caught up with them.
Five out of the six suspected Fulani herdsmen who were arrested by operatives of the Intelligence Response Squad, IRS, an elite unit of the Nigeria Police, deployed by the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to track and apprehend the masterminds of the kidnapping of a former Secretary of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae in his farm, were paraded, during the week before Falae, for identification.
The arrival of Falae was greeted with cheers by officers and men of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad, Department of the Ondo State Police Command, venue of the parade.
He identified two of the kidnappers, Umoru Ibrahim and Idris Lawan, as those who spent four days with him in the bush.
In an apparent move to further convince the police on the identity of his abductors, Falae explained that Ibrahim once threatened to shoot him during his ordeal while Lawan always shouted at him not to look at the kidnappers in the face.
It was gathered that the three other suspects, Abubakar Auta, Aka Dojijo, Masaudu Moahmmed and Bello Janu, played different roles during the operation. Dojijo, who was described as the leader and coordinator of the gang, was said to have negotiated and collected the ransom money while Mohammed provided the gang with finance.
Janu, was said to have provided most of the expertise the gang adopted, as he confessed to have been a seasoned kidnapper who has taken part in three high profile kidnappings in Kogi State. According to the police, 25 years old Dojijo who has two wives, was arrested when operatives of the IRS, led by CSP, Abba Kyari, trailed him to his mansion in Minna, Niger State.
It was gathered that the operatives traced the calls for negotiation of ransom money to a location in Mina Niger State. After a search of his residence, the police recovered the sum of N823, 990, said to be part of the N5 million paid as ransom to the kidnappers.
The operatives also discovered that Dojijo had recently purchased the mansion and three other cars, two Toyota Camry and an Avalon. It was further gathered that, the recovered money, in various denominations, still had the stamp of an Akure branch of the bank from where it was withdrawn.
But when Saturday Vanguard interviewed Dojijo, he denied taking part in the operation noting however that one of his friends, Idris, who used his SIM card for four days, brought the money to his house. According to him, “I wasn’t involved in it.
Though my phone number was used for negotiation of the ransom and a large amount of the ransom collected was also found on me. What happened was that, one of my friends known as Idris, who I met two months ago came to my house few days before the last Sallah celebration and took one of my SIM cards.
When I came home, my wife told me about it and I called and asked what he was doing with my SIM card and he said he was using it for a job in Abuja. I don’t know where lives or the kind of business he was into but two days after the Sallah, he brought back my SIM card and a bag containing a large sum of money.
I wasn’t at home when he brought these items but one of my wives received the items and gave them to me when I returned. But the moment I reinserted the SIM back into my phone, the police showed up in my house and arrested me.
They accused me of organizing the kidnap of Chief Olu Falae and I told them that I rear and sell cattle from where I made the money I used in building my house and also bought the four cars I drive. I inherited over 40 cows from my late father and I have sold all remaining just 10.
I explained that I have no hand in the kidnapping and it was my one of friends, Idris, who returned my SIM card after four days with him and that he also brought the money to my house but the police won’t believe me. They asked me to take them to him and I told them that I do not know his house and they do not believe my story,” Dojijo lamented.
Meanwhile, Umoru Ibrahim, 24, from Kebbi State, one of those who abducted Falae, told Saturday Vanguard that a certain Babaworu, his friend and fellow cattle rearer introduced him into kidnapping. As he put it, “few days before the last Sallah, Babawuro, came to me in Ado Ekiti and borrowed the sum of N20, 000 from me, promising he would pay me the next day.
But he called me and asked that I should meet him in Akure, that he had a job for me. I asked what type of job was it and he said it was a lucrative farming job that will pay me enough money. I borrowed the sum of N10, 000 from a woman in Ado Ekiti and I rushed to Owo and met him at a designated spot.
He then took me into the bush and we walked a few distanced before getting to a spot where I met Idris Lawan, waiting for us. Babawuro, then asked both of us to wait at that spot that he was going to fetch some other people who were going to work with us. When he left, I asked Idris if he knew the nature of the job we were going for and he told me that he did not know.
I asked him if he knows Babawuro very well and he explained that he also rears cattle in Okene and that he had met Babawuro a couple of times when they move their cows but that it was Babawuro who called him and said he had a job that could fetch him some quick money so he left his cow and rushed down.
While we waited, six other people including Babawuro showed up and joined us. Then, Babawuro looked at me and said that the job we were to execute was robbery. I asked him where will the robbery take place and he told me that we were going to rob a human being.
I then asked how we could sell a human being and make enough money for ourselves and he said we were going to make the person pay us some money and if he refuses and that we will let him go after spending some days with us and we will go after another person. Then he brought out two guns and handed it to Usman and Dogo.
He asked me to get a stick, one of us, a Yoruba man, had a cutlass with him. Then we proceeded to Chief Falae’s farm. We got to a stream close to the farm and we waited in the water until we sighted a big vehicle driving into the farm. Babawuro signaled to us and said that our target was in the farm and we should move in.
Then we crawled out of the water and those with the guns were in front, shooting indiscriminately while we followed from behind. When we saw the chief, we arrested him, one of us, with a cutlass, attacked Chief Falae and injured him. We then took him away and we had a very long walk, then Babawuro, showed up with a bike he and one other mounted the bike and they took Chief away.
Then we trekked all night for 12 hours before we got to the point where they were and we joined them. Babawuro, left us and we stayed behind and watched over Chief Falae. Our job was to look after the Chief but some other people were talking with his family over ransom and whenever they wanted us to allow him to talk to his family they would call us and asked us to call his wife’s number.
After four days, we got a call that the ransom had been paid and we should let him go. We took him out on the road and we all fled. Babawuro then called and said all of us should proceed to Abuja for our money. When I got there I got N100, 000 as my share and I quickly went to Ado Ekiti to pay off all my debts.
I gave N50,000 to a man I was owing N60,000, I then paid N10,000 to the woman who borrowed me money to Owo. I also gave N7, 000 to someone I was indebted to and I spent the rest. After the Sallah, Idris Lawan called me and said, Babawuro was arrested where he was drinking and that everyone arrested with him had been bailed, except him.
I told him where I was and he came with Masaudu Moahmmed and Bello Janu, who were also friends of Babawuro and while we planning on how to raise money for his bail, the police showed up at the restaurant where they arrested the four of us.
Before I was arrested, I felt relieved for paying those I was indebted to and my joy was cut short when the police showed up. I didn’t know that this was what I was getting myself into, I wouldn’t have joined them. But I am still happy that I was able to pay off my debt.”
Saturday Vanguard had a brief interaction with Falae in his residence. He said that he was appreciative of the efforts of the police for being able to arrest his abductors. He called for more support for security agencies to enable them to perform their duties more efficiently.
According to him, “I am grateful that the police responded swiftly in going after those who kidnapped me. This has shown that if given adequate support the police will perform marvelously. While I was at the police station to identify those who were arrested by the police, I identified two of them easily.
One of them, the one at the extremely left, known as Umoru who cocked his gun and pointed it at me and wanted to shoot me but one of them pushed him away. I don’t know what he would have done. He would have pulled the trigger and it would have been a different story. For that reason I will never forget him.
The second one was always threatening me in the bush, whenever he looks at me he would say, Baba, Baba, don’t look at us and that if I did, that he would come back for me. When I saw them at the police station, they showed recognition and they managed to smile at me.
Those two were absolutely familiar to me and it would seem as if they are the people who felt aggrieved because I stopped them from allowing their cattle to graze in my my maize farm and doing other illegal activities around my farm. As a public officer, I am proud of the security agencies who went all out against these criminals.
I am hopeful, if given adequate support and resources the police will live above expectations of all Nigerians. I expect the Judiciary to perform its responsibility and do justice to this case, based on the evidence presented before them,” he said.