By Chioma Okezie-Okeh
The Nigerian police seem to have found the missing clue in the case of an elderly Chinese man kidnapped and later murdered by his captors in February 2020. The Chinese identified as Hongli Song was abducted when he stepped out of his daughter’s company, Xinxin Energy Limited, located in Odogbolu Area of Ogun State.
Some weeks later, operatives of Intelligence Response Team (IRT) assigned to investigate the matter arrested seven suspects, all workers of the company. They confessed that the man died in their custody few days after he was kidnapped because he fell sick and was not given proper medication.
During their interrogation, they mentioned one Adelaja Segun Moses who brought up the idea and also provided all the logistics used. All efforts to track him down failed as he was said to have fled the state and remained incommunicado. But about a year later, he surfaced in Lagos and has now been arrested by operatives of the Strike Force of the Lagos State Police Command who were on the trail of another group of kidnappers wreaking havoc at border towns between Lagos and Ogun.
According to the state police spokesman, Muyiwa Adejobi, the suspect was arrested during a sting operation. Giving an insight into how his arrest took place, he added that Adelaja, a member of Aiye confraternity, resurfaced after he was assured that the coast was clear, that he had nothing to fear anymore because the police had closed the case.
“Upon his arrest and further interrogation, it was discovered that he was one of the fleeing members who participated in the abduction of the elderly Chinese in Ogun State,” Adejobi said. “They eventually killed the captive who was 65 and dumped his corpse in Agbowa Ikosi River. The corpse has not been recovered up till date.”
Suspect narrates how he was arrested
In an interview with Saturday Sun, Adelaja, 27, revealed that he returned to Lagos on a Friday and was arrested in a hotel the following day. “I never knew that the police were still looking for me,” he said. “My informant assured me that they had closed the case on that matter. I am an Aiye member and some of my guys who knew that I had been on the run were so excited when I alerted them that I was coming back to Lagos. They lodged me in a hotel since I no longer have a house in Lagos. I still don’t understand how the police operatives knew that I was one of those involved in the kidnap of the Chinese man. They were not the ones who arrested the others.”
On how he got involved in the man’s abduction and death, he claimed that it was one Ahmed that asked him to follow him to the company where he was working. “I live in Imota Ikosi then and he asked me to visit his work place. It was while we were moving around that he chipped in that they wanted to kidnap one Chinese man in that company. I told him that I was not interested but he insisted. They sent money to us to hire guns and vehicle that would be used and I told Ahmed that we should use the money.
“We were still contemplating what to do when Ahmed received a call that the man had been kidnapped and they were bringing him to our location. Ahmed has a house at Odogbolu but I do not know the place very well. They initially kept him there while they called and demanded that the family should pay N50 million. I just visited them and left because since I did not know the area, it would be difficult for me to escape if things went wrong. They would see me as a stranger. They later moved him to Imota Ikosi, which is closer to where I was staying. I kept in touch on phone, only for Ahmed to call me some days later to come. I thought they had collected the money and rushed down only to find him dead. They told me that the old man was sick and died in his sleep. Since the deal was over, we put his body in a drum and waited till it was 11pm. We took the body to Ikosi River and pushed the drum into the water. I knew that the game was over since the family can no longer communicate with their father. I ran to my mother’s village in Ondo and learnt how to become a blacksmith. I also read in the newspapers when they arrested others.
“This was why I waited that long before returning to Lagos. I was told that there is no reason to worry again as the police had closed the case. I am still in shock because my mother warned me when I said that I was returning to Lagos. She knows that I am a cultist but is not aware that I participated in that kidnap case where a Chinese man died.”