- Attempted abduction of 5-yr-old boy, demanded N5 million ransom
The recent revelation that some corrupt policemen under the Rivers State Police Command had been directly engaging in abduction of citizens for ransom, now appears not to be restricted to the state as facts from Kogi State indicate.
It emerged that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Kogi State Police Command arrested two policemen in Kogi State (now dismissed), 30-year-old corporal Suleiman Isiaka and 31-year-old Ibrahim James, and who had also served under the Assistant General of Police (AIG) in charge of zone 8, Lokoja, had used their AK-47 rifles and ammunition to carry out the attempted abduction of a five-year-old boy, Victor Nathaniel. They were said to have worked with a syndicate that demanded for a N5 million ransom. The group operated from Early Best Hotel, Ayingba, Kogi State.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ali Janga told Sunday Sun that the two ex-policemen collaborated with an ex-navy rating, Ordinary Seaman Bature Habila Jesses, to commit the alleged crime.
Janga stated that on October 6, 2017, the commander of SARS in the state, Supol Baba Gana Bukar and SARS personnel acting on information made available to the police through information stormed the hotel at Ayingba and arrested the first suspect around 5:45a.m. The police team recovered arms and ammunitions.
Also, it was through information that one of the suspects, Shehu Agba, who is a cousin of the father of the victim masterminded the abduction and also told the ex-policemen how to collect the N5 million ransom from his cousin. It was Agba who involved the ex-policemen by urging them to use their AK47 rifles to intimidate their victims.
The SARS commander, Supol Baba Gana Bukar, added that the two ex-policemen used the Opel car with registration number, Kogi GWO 129 SA, belonging to one of them for the operation.
Bukar said that his operatives took the first suspect to Akowo Nathaniel, the father of the victim at Ayingba, who confirmed that the suspected kidnapper had been threatening them, saying that if they did not do his bidding, either himself, wife or son would be kidnapped.
The two ex-policemen were attached to Forward Operation Base in Bauchi State, under the AIG Zone 8, Lokoja. Information gathered by Sunday Sun from sources within the Kogi police command revealed that they had been involved in other abduction cases.
When Sunday Sun spoke with one of the suspects, Suleiman Isiaka, he said: “I joined the police on March 1, 2008 through the Kaduna State Police Command. Yes, I have been involved in several kidnapping operations. It was, Shehu Agba, the cousin of the father of the boy who arranged this operation. He said the father of the boy can pay the ransom of N5 million if we kidnapped his son.
Also, the second suspect, Corporal Ibrahim James who joined the force on February 1, 2010 after undergoing training at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, confessed that he had been using his AK47 for kidnapping operations. He added that it was his colleague, Suleiman Isiaka that got him involved in the abduction incident.
He said: “I quickly followed them with my AK47 rifle which I signed for from my Division. I carried out the operation at Ayingba before the SARS personnel rounded us up at the hotel at Ayingba.
On his part, Shehu Agba, 32, who hails from Egune community in Dekina L.G.A Kogi State, said he initiated the abduction of the boy as a way of avenging the hurt he felt when the father of the victim turned down his request for money.
His words: “I needed some money from the father of the victim, but he refused to give me. So I arranged with the two policemen on how to kidnap his son and make him pay N5 million ransom. We planned to kidnap him on October 6, 2017 around 5:45 am at the hotel when the SARS personnel surrounded us while we were inside the car.” I have confessed to the policeman” he said.
A commercial driver, Daniel John, 27, got roped in when the suspects hired his vehicle, without his being aware that they were on a mission to kidnap somebody. Apparently, the presence of the policemen with their guns deceived him as to the true nature of the reason for hiring his vehicle.
Obviously relieved, the father of the boy narrated how he had been receiving threats prior to the abduction. He said: “I have been receiving a threat by kidnappers who said that they need N5 million from me. I received several phone calls and threats from the kidnappers. I was shocked on October 6, 2017, when I suddenly saw the SARS commander Supol Baba Gana Bukar and SARS personnel with five suspects who confessed to have threatened me and wanted to kidnap my five-year-old son. It was God that fought for me. My biggest surprise was that my cousin, Shehu Agba, who was a regular visitor to my family and who I have assisted that was the one who masterminded the attempted abduction.”
The commissioner of police assured that the suspects would be charged to court soon.