By Shina Abubakar
Following the incessant acts of kidnappings along Ilesa/Akure express road in Osun state, residents of various communities in the area have called for the prosecution of arrested suspected accomplices in connection with a recent kidnapping in the area.
Three travellers were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Monday, January 18 at Omo Ijesa along the express road leading to the arrest of seven suspected accomplices during a search and rescue operation by the combined team of hunters, vigilante, OPC, and Police.
Meanwhile, residents of the communities along the express road including, Erin Ijesa, Erin Oke, Erinmo Ijesa, Omo Ijesa and Iwaraja in Oriade local government area of the state have said security operatives should ensure that the suspected must face the full wrath of the law.
A statement issued under the aegis of Coalition of Concerned youths of Oriade and signed by Alani Ogundipe disclosed that one of the suspects identified as ‘Jombo’ has become a source of worry for the community due to his involvement in criminal activities at various times.
“As resident of these communities, we find necessary that one of the suspects called Jombo’ has for many years been disturbing the peace of the people of the area. The communities had in the past appealed to the police authorities to bail it from the man who had been arrested several times on alleged criminal activities and illegal possession of firearms.
“Jombo was at different times alleged of using the illegal title to sell peoples land without authorisation, but surprisingly he somehow gets off the hook whenever he was arrested by the police. It is on record that he was arraigned in court and remanded in prison custody in March 2014 for being caught with a rifle.
“It is also disturbing and pathetic that activities of kidnappers have become a regular occurrence in the area. The latest was on last Sunday night, January 17, when some suspected gunmen abducted travellers along Omo/Erin-Ijesa road.
“Sources from the security circle hinted us that, ‘Jombo’ is among the arrested abductors for allegedly conspiring with the herdsmen and at the same time exposing them to the topography of the area.
“The man who is said to be their food provider and supplier at all times in the forest is said to be living in Omo where he served as an informant to the herdsmen.
“We are aware of clandestine move from several quarters to secure their release from the police custody, we call on concerned stakeholders to ensure that the suspect is made to account for their involvement in the dastard act,” the statement reads.