The police in Oyo State have arrested 26 suspected criminals including some members of a dreaded kidnapping syndicate who kidnapped a don and seven other people who were travelling along the Ibadan end of the Lagos/Ibadan expressway on the 28th of October this year.

The Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in Oyo State, Mr Adewale Osifeso stated this while parading the suspects who were arrested for various offences ranging from armed robbery, kidnapping, car snatching and other criminal-related acts.

Mr Osifeso said the suspected kidnappers were part of the syndicates that had been terrorizing people who ply Lagos Ibadan expressway before they met their waterloo.

The police spokesman stated further that the alleged kidnappers equally attacked a team of responding policemen while heeding the distress call in a bid to rescue trapped victims on the highway, which later led to the death of an Inspector of Police who paid the supreme price in a fierce gun duel.

He noted that the kidnappers later whisked the victims away to an unknown destination through the thick forest along the Ibadan/Lagos expressway while their relatives were contacted for monetary demands in exchange for their liberty. 

“In one of the most coordinated operations in the history of the Command, all Command’s Operational, tactical and Intelligence assets were collapsed and fused as one to attain the goal of immediate rescue of the abductees unhurt and the apprehension of their abductors for prosecution.”

“Consequent upon the above, the Oyo State Police Command in a technological intelligence-aided operation aided and with necessary support from Amotekun (the Oyo State Security Network) and other community partners, apprehended the duo of Babangida Buhari Awalu and Kabiru Aliyu both commercial motorcyclists and couriers for the Kidnap syndicate while retrieving “exchange money” for other members of the syndicate around Ojoo Area, Ibadan.”

Similarly, the PPRO said one Alhaji Waheed Hammed, a cattle dealer of Ogbomoso town while returning from his cattle ranch located at Adafila Village, via Ogbomoso was intercepted at a desolate spot by some notorious kidnapping syndicate that had been terrorizing members of the public in Ogbomoso and its neighbouring towns.

“The members of the dreaded kidnapping syndicate who were reportedly armed with AK-47 Riffles, cutlasses and some other dangerous weapons attacked Alhaji Waheed Hammed and later whisked him away into a thick forest where they contacted his relative and demanded for One Hundred Million Naira (#100, 000, 000. 00k) ransom before he would be released.”

As soon as the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State got wind of the incident through a duly written petition, he directed that all available resources be deployed in rescuing the victim unhurt with his abductors arrested, hence the transfer to the Command’s Monitoring Unit.

He noted further that operatives attached to the Monitoring Unit swung into action and in the process of combing the thick forest alongside local hunters and Vigilantes; they stumbled upon where the victim was held captive and rescued him unhurt.

“The victim during debrief narrated his ordeal in the hands of his abductors and explained that while the kidnappers were negotiating his ransom, they claimed responsibility for the death of an Ogbomosho hotelier, Mr Gbenga Owolabi (Now Deceased) and that he,(the abductee) would suffer a similar fate should his ransom payment process get thwarted by involving the Police.”

“The victim also gave other useful information to the Police operatives and this led to the arrest of three members of the kidnapping syndicate who identified themselves as Namaru Abubakar ‘M’, Saliu Abubakar ‘M’ and Usman Abubakar ‘M’.”

Also, two members of a criminal syndicate, who specialize in removing exotic cars from where they are parked by unsuspecting members of the public went to a car park designated for staff of the University College Hospital ‘’UCH’’ Ibadan and removed two Toyota Camry cars with Registration Numbers AKD 153 UE and LND 216 CD from where they were parked by their respective owners.

However, the security guards attached to the Hospital who sighted the hoodlums while they were moving the vehicles out of the hospital environment quickly alerted a team of Police operatives who were on Anti-crime patrol in the area, and in the process, one of the suspects who later identified himself as Danjuma Yusuf ‘M’ was arrested but his syndicate member whom he gave his name as Segun managed to escape. 

“At the time of arrest, he was found in possession of (2) two vehicles alongside; (1)One Walkie Talkie, (2)Two Master keys which they used to unlock the vehicles and a Military emblem which was part of their deception packages were all recovered.”

Mr Osifeso said upon interrogations, the suspect who revealed his identity as a retired Customs officer confessed to the crime and series of similar criminal activities he and his fleeing syndicate members had masterminded in different parts of Oyo State. 

He, therefore, called on members of the public not to relent on their oars in giving out useful information on how to Police society maximally. 

The police spokesman added the suspects would soon charge to court for proper investigations. 

Other suspected criminals who confessed to the crime levelled against them pleaded for leniency.

Rasheeda Makinde

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