By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.
Three middle aged men, who took N5.6million ransom and killed the courier before releasing five kidnapped expatriates working for billionaire Industrialist, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, have been arrested by the police.
The courier of the ransom, a senior manager with Dangote Group Plc, identified as Istifanus Gurama, was said to have been murdered by the kidnappers after collecting the money from him.
According to police sources, the suspects confessed that they killed the deceased due to his failure to produce the expected sum of N100M as ransom.
Police spokesman, DCP Don Awunah, who confirmed the report in a release made available to journalists, identified the suspects as 24-year-old Abubakar Gide, Abdullahi Salihu 22, and Babuga Adamu 25.
He disclosed that they were arrested by the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), led by CSP Abba Kyari, in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State, Epe in Lagos State, and Ajase Ipo in Kwara State.
According to the Force image maker, the suspects have confessed to kidnapping and releasing all five initial victims after receiving the ransom of N5.6million.
They also confessed to kidnapping and murdering the ransom transporter, Mr. Istifanus Gurama, also of Dangote Group, the Force spokesperson added.
Upon being arrested, he said the suspects took police operatives to Apoje river in Kwara state, where the body of the victim was buried, adding that the decomposed body was exhumed and conveyed to the hospital for autopsy.
Awunah, also added that the suspects further led detectives to a forest in Ijebu-igbo, Ogun state, where three AK47 riffles, six AK47 magazines and 160 rounds ammunition were recovered.
The statement reads in part: “The IGP’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) recorded another breakthrough with the arrest of three of the kidnappers that murdered one and kidnapped five expatriate members of staff of Dangote Group.
The IRT, armed with credible intelligence, between November 27, 2016 and December 3, 2016 arrested three of the kidnappers: Abubakar Gide 24, Abdullahi Salihu 22, and Babuga Adamu 25 in Ijebu Igbo – Ogun State, Epe Forest – Lagos State and Ajase Ipo Forest – Kwara State respectively.
“…The suspects have since led the police to their hideout in Ijebu Igbo Ogun Forest where the following arms and ammunition they used in the operation were recovered: three AK47 rifles, six AK47 magazines and 160 rounds of ammunition.
“The suspects further led IRT operatives to Apoje River where the body of Mr. Bello Gurama was recovered. Efforts are in progress to arrest other gang members who are currently at large in other states.”
Awunah, however, warned families of kidnapped victims to exercise considerable restraint in negotiating and paying ransom.
“It is absolutely important the negotiators of ransom should have confidence in the police,” he said.
Despite the recent accomplishments by the police with the coordinated clampdown on crime and criminality throughout the country, Awunah said that IGP Ibrahim Idris admonished police officers not to get carried away by recent successes but instead redouble their efforts in the fight against crime.
“He has assured Nigerians that the police will remain undaunted in the collective fight against crime. As members of the public begin the yuletide celebrations, the police will ensure the celebrations are crime free,” he said.
By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos.