NINE suspected kidnappers of Margret Emiefele, wife of Godwin Emiefele, governor of the Central Bank, were paraded at the Police Force headquarters on Monday, October 10.
The culprits were Musa Maidabara, 30, a lance corporal with the Nigerian Army serving at 122D30 Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State. He was arrested for the active role he played in the kidnap. Upon his arrest, Maidabara reportedly made a confessional statement to the Police admitting to be part of the gang that kidnapped and collected ransom from the victim’s family.
In the course of investigation into the crime, a Jeep worth N1.5million and a sum of N4million naira which was his own share of the ransom money was recovered from his possession. It was also discovered that Maidabara, in company of Edwin George, another lance corporal and one Ernest Anthony Uduefe, a dismissed soldier, while dressed in Army uniform, escorted some of the kidnappers and the ransom money in a maroon colour Audi car out of the forest where they had kept the victim, to Benin City, Edo State.
George, until his arrest was also serving at 122D Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State. He hails from Otukpo town, Otukpo LGA of Benue State. Recovered from him was a Honda car worth N1.1million, which he used part of his loot to purchase. Police said he was arrested on October 5, at about 1300hrs in his home town.
Uduefe, 32, is a native of Igbuku village, Ndokwa East LGA of Delta State. “He also volunteered a confessional statement to his involvement in the crime. Investigation revealed that he also bought a Honda car worth N1.5million and furnished an apartment in Benin City Edo State within 48hrs of the kidnap incident.” The sum of N1.5million in cash and the Honda car were recovered from him.
The fourth suspect is Mohammed Abubakar, aka Dogo. He is 30 years old. A native of Mubi town, in Mubi LGA of Adamawa State and the leader of the group, Dogo was said to have confessed to the crime and admitted that he received N11million in cash from the ransom paid. The suspect, however, claimed to have given one Danjuma who is currently on the run, the said sum to keep for him.
The fifth suspect is Mohammed Musa. The suspect is 26 years old and hails from Yabo LGA of Sokoto State. Police said that he too volunteered a confessional statement admitting that he is a member of the gang and also, that he received N10million. “He sustained bullet wounds after a gun duel with the Police while trying to leave the forest where they had kept the victim. The cash sum of N7million was recovered from him. Useful information was gotten from him that led to the arrest of other gang members,” Police said.
Mohammed Sule, 26, is another suspect caught by the Police. Sule is a native of Awe village in Awe LGA of Nasarawa State. His share of the ransom was N10million in cash, but claimed that a soldier and a gang leader escaped with the loot.
Another suspect who got N10million share of the loot is Ibrahim Abdullahi. The suspect is a 30 year old native of Fondogeri LGA of Niger State.
Also being investigated for the roles in the kidnap episode are Aliyu Musa, 29 and Mohammed Yusuf, who were also arrested for their suspected involvement.
“The Nigeria Police Force will continue to limit the capacity of kidnappers and other criminals to disrupt the quality of life of Nigerians by the deployment of adequate manpower and resources in crime reduction, detection and effective prosecution of offenders in courts of competent jurisdiction.
“The curtailment of the activities of kidnappers in our communities will be ultimately successful through the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders. There must be collective ownership of law enforcement.
“It is instructive to mention that money or ‘ransom’ is sometimes used as a bait or bargaining chip to save the lives of the victims of crime which is primary to security operatives.
It is also absolutely important to mention that the Police do not and will not encourage payment of ransom. The relatives of victims of kidnap for ransom are strongly advised to exercise considerable caution to succumb in payment of ransom. It is inherently counterproductive. At all times of kidnap scenario, it is pertinent the Police are involved and trusted,” the Police said in a statement issued by Don Awunah, a deputy commissioner of Police and spokesman of the Police.
Awunah assured that Ibrahim Idris, inspector general of Police, “is committed in ensuring that all forms of crime, fear of crime and particularly kidnap for ransom and other violent crimes are brought to the lowest ebb throughout the country.
“Similarly, the IGP is determined in making sure that all those who are engaged in kidnappings, abductions and armed criminal activities will not escape Justice. To this end, the Nigeria Police will galvanize all available resources at its disposal to make sure miscreants, hoodlums and deviants have their day with the law.”
Margret Emiefele and three of her aides were abducted on September 29, at Oquneki Hills along Benin-Agbor Road, in Delta State.
The Police intelligence unit later rescued them on September 30, unhurt and were reunited with their families after debriefing.
— Oct 10, 2016 @ 19:52 GMT