Fresh facts emerged yesterday on how the suspected abductors of the former Minister of State for Education, Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, were arrested by the police.
The kingpin of the kidnapping syndicate was actually nabbed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, in an attempt to flee to Dubai in the United Arab Emirate (UAE).
Apart from the kingpin, whose identity was not made public, another suspect was also arrested in connection with the crime.
It was gathered that police detectives, acting on tip-off and intelligence, monitored the movement of the syndicate’s ringleader.
This made the Ogun State Commissioner of Police, Abdulmajid Ali, to inform his Lagos counterpart, Fatai Owoseni, who immediately swung into action, leading to the arrest of the suspect.
A top security source, who was involved in the rescue operation, disclosed that the kingpin was picked up on Tuesday.
He said: “We just monitored his movement as the ringleader of the syndicate and we got intelligence about his movement and that’s how we were able to pick him.
“When we got the information, the CP Ogun informed CP Lagos and the CP Lagos swung into action immediately and the kingpin was arrested.”
The state police commissioner confirmed the arrest of the suspects when he conveyed Anisulowo to the Government House, Abeokuta, to meet with Governor Ibikunle Amosun on Tuesday night.
Ali said that the synergy that existed among security agencies resulted in the breakthrough.
The police boss, who stated that investigation was ongoing, added that the suspected kidnappers would be charged to court on completion of investigation.
“We traversed over three states and we continued to look for them and, luckily, they gave up. The pressure was much on them. The helicopter patrol was a different thing entirely and we are grateful to the people of the state because they have the confidence in the security agencies,” he said.
Meanwhile, Anisulowo has recounted her ordeal in the hands of her kidnappers, saying that she did not eat during her captivity that lasted seven days.
Anisulowo, who spoke moments after her rescue, said she took to fasting and fervent prayer to survive in the kidnappers den.
She said this just as Amosun disclosed that the kidnappers raised the ransom for the ex-minister from N100 million to N200 million because of his involvement in the search.
The 65-year-old former minister was kidnapped on Wednesday, last week, while returning from her farm in Sawonjo, Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State.
Narrating her ordeal, Anisulowo, who looked frail and tired, said she only took water while in the kidnappers’ custody.But following the inter- agency collaboration and deployment of intelligence, Anisulowo was rescued about 7p.m. on Tuesday at Gbegbelawo village, near Olorunda town in Yewa North Local Government Area.
She stated that the condition under which she was kept was terrifying and dehumanising, adding that she only had hope in God that she would survive.
Her words: “I’m short of words, but I want to thank God. I want to thank the governor for all the efforts you have put in with the security agencies.
“I know the courage you have and the spirit to fight to the end and that was what kept me in the bush there waiting, that with the security agencies that you have, you will work it through. I thank God.”
In his remarks, Amosun expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, for their personal interventions in ensuring Anisulowo’s release.
He commended security agencies in the state, including the Police, the Army and the Department of State Services (DSS), for deploying sophisticated equipment and intelligence in rescuing the abducted senator.
The governor, who was in company with his deputy, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, and other top government functionaries, expressed delight that the former National Assembly member was rescued unhurt.
He noted that though the kidnappers demanded N200 million as ransom, no money was paid to secure Anisulowo’s release.
Amosun said: “I have always argued that our security agencies can work, unless they don’t want to. We need to give kudos to God and thank our security people. This, indeed, is a different experience for me; I see the extent to which our security agencies can go.
“If they are given necessary equipment, they will work wonders. This is a huge breakthrough. I think the issue of kidnapping will die down with what they (security agencies) have achieved.
“I think it’s a big shame that we found ourselves where we shouldn’t be; young people that should be working asking for ransom of N200 million. They even said because I got involved, they increased it from N100 million to N200 million.
“They insisted from the second day that their ransom is N200 million. They said they had wanted to collect N100 million and I told them that they will face the law and that it is in their interest to release her.
“They even threatened me and every other person. They said they will teach me, the IG, the Brigade Commander and all others lesson. They were abusing everybody on phone, but we thank God the way it was resolved.”