‘… he collected N4m but declared N2m’

Their leader counted the ransom in our presence — Victim’s relation

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

Five suspected kidnappers of a traditional ruler, and three others arrested and paraded in Ondo state have lamented that their leader stole part of the ransom paid by the relations of the victims.

The suspects paraded at the state police command in Akure, include Ilyasu Lawal, 27; Mohammadu Abubakar Sidi, 26; Garuba Bature, 36; Abubakar Dangy, 20, and Mohammed Mosere, 25.

Recall that the traditional ruler, the Onikun of lkun, Mukaila Bello and others were kidnapped at about 6:30p.m., around Ago-Yeye, along Owo/Ikare Road on August 4, this year after the driver conveying them was shot in the head.

The other kidnap victims include a former House of Assembly candidate for Akoko North-East Constituency Yèyé Gbafinro; a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adeniran Adeyemo, and a community leader, Bashiru Adekile.

The abductors had demanded for N200 million from the families of the victims, but they negotiated it down to N4 million.

The suspects, while being paraded, expressed shocked to hear that the victims paid N4 million ransom, whereas their leader declared N2 million as ransom collected.

While their leader, who is on the run, declared N2 million as ransom paid for the victims, the relation of one of the victims, Abdul Muritala, who took the ransom to their leader, insisted openly that he delivered N4 million to him and he counted it before releasing the victims.

The five other suspects, who expressed anger, said only N2 million was declared to them.

But while parading the suspects at the state police command headquarters, the state police commissioner, Oyeyemi Oyediran said that four of the suspects were arrested at their residence in Ibadan, while Dangy was arrested in Owo town.

Items recovered from them included three guns, five live cartridges, two face masks and two jack knives.

They said their leader gave them N200,000 each for the operation.

Abdul Muritala, who took the ransom to the kidnappers, said it was the entire community that contributed the money.

“They said we should pay N200 million but we begged them and they reduced it to N4 million.

“The community contributed the ransom money. Our people spent three days with them without eating any food.

“They released them along Ikare Owo road. I was the person that took the ransom money to the place. I saw the kidnappers.

“They came out with guns. They did not wear mask when they came out to collect the ransom. When we dropped the money, they said we should go and that we will see our people soon.”

The police commissioner added that the kidnappers that killed a soldier and abducted a Lebanese in Owo has been arrested and charged to court.

Oyediran said the suspect, Yusuf Hamza, was arrested through forensic investigation and that efforts were on to arrest other suspects.

He added that the suspects confessed to committing the crime and that they would soon be charged to Court.

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