Christopher Oji, Lagos
A local boat operator whom the police say doubles as a member of kidnapping gang, Ayeni John, 45, and three others have been arrested for the abduction of a Syrian identified as Lungyn Camal, at Eko Atlantic City, Lagos.
Paraded before the press along with three members of the gang, Ayeni admitted to having received the sum of N50,000 as his share of the ransom collected for the release of the Syrian.
Those arrested along with Ayeni include Tijani Gafari, 38; Ojonla Oyetakin, 30; and Paul Orimisan, 38.
In his confessional statement, Ayeni said he was co-opted by one Job, whom he claimed is the head of the gang.
He said: “I met Job at Liverpool jetty. As a boat operator, he told me that I will take him in my boat along with three others to Lekki. On the night of March 15, 2020, we left in my boat for Lekki. On arrival at Lekki, Job and four others disembarked from the boat and headed into Eko Atlantic. He asked me to wait for a while.
“They came back with a White man and hastily entered the boat. The White man’s head was covered. Job asked me to move immediately they boarded. We left for a creek at Epe that night. He paid me N50,000, for my service, and I left,” he added.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who presented the suspects before newsmen at the Command Headquarters, Ikeja, said on August 14, at about 2 pm, acting on credible information, operatives of the Command’s Anti-kidnapping unit arrested one Ayeni John, 45, Tijani Gafari, 38, Ojonla Oyetakin, 30, and Paul Orimisan, 38. All male.
Odumosu said the gang is responsible for a series of kidnappings for ransom and robberies which occurred along the Lagos waterways recently.
He said on March 15, the gang abducted Salisu Mansur and Christopher Chinda at Landmark beach.
He said the same gang on April 12, kidnapped Lungyn Camal, a citizen of Syria at Eko Atlantic, all on the waterways, adding that they confessed to the crimes.