From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The heart of man is deceitful and above all things desperately wicked, who can know it? That is a verse from the Holy Bible.
And this is the story of a 48-year-old woman, Binta Mohammed, who trusted her cousin, Haliru, with all her heart and went into business partnership with him.
The evil plan was hatched in Zaria, Kaduna State, but unravelled in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. It was after the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team arrested him and brought him to Abuja. He was paraded in Abuja where he confessed his evil deed.
Binta gave Haliru N3.2million soft loan to purchase four tri-cycles, aka Keke, for his business with an agreement to pay back over time. However, when the agreed time expired, he bluntly refused to pay back. Binta made several calls, pleas and even talked to his friends and other relatives to talk to Haliru, but he would not bulge.
Seeing that the pressure from his cousin was becoming a sort of nightmare to him, Haliru got in touch with his kidnapper friends. They are operating at Galadimawa, a notorious forest in Kaduna State. He told them his plans and agreed on a date to deliver her to them.
He then went to Binta and pleaded with her to be patient with him. He asked her to accompany him to see a friend owing him to get the money. He told her that her presence would force the friend to pay him.
She agreed to follow him. They boarded a vehicle in Zaria, Kaduna State. By the time she realised what was happening, her cousin handed her over to his kidnapper friends in a forest in Galadimawa Local Government Area of the state who happen to be his friends.
He told the kidnappers to collect huge amount of money from her because she was very rich. He also instructed them to kill her after collecting the money from her and then he walked away.
She cried and pleaded with him but he would not listen as the kidnappers dragged her deep into the forest. While in the forest with the kidnappers, Binta prayed. And there was divine intervention. She managed to escape from the kidnappers’ den.
Unfortunately, on her way out of the forest, she ran into the camp of yet another kidnap group who re-kidnaped her. But because they were not the ones instructed by her cousin to kill her, this new group spared her life and demanded for ransom.
But while still in the custody of the new group, Binta was able to put a call to operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team, Abuja. The team immediately swung into action and eventually got her rescued from her abductors.
Upon her release, she was taken to the hospital. She narrated her ordeal to the police operatives who got her evil cousin arrested.
Upon his arrest, he was taken to the police station where he was made to come face-to-face with his cousin, Binta. On sighting Binta and that she was still alive, Haliru collapsed. He was, however, immediately revived. He confessed to have carried out all the plans.
The suspect said he was forced to carry out the evil plan because of pressure from his sister whom he took a loan from: “My name is Abubakar Haliru. I am 36 years old. I finished my secondary education at Demonstration Secondary School, Sabon-Gari, Zaria.
“After my secondary education, I went into buying and selling business. I engaged in buying motorcycles, cars and anything that I could find to buy. I did the business for seven to eight years.
“Along the lines, I got my cousin involved because I am very close to her. I used to borrow money from her to put into my business and I usually paid back.
“And so on this occasion, I borrowed N3.2 million from her with a promise to pay back. She gave me the money to buy four Keke NAPEP. That was in 2019, before the COVID 19 lockdown. So instead of using the money to buy the Keke, I used it for my business because it was actually a loan from her.
“The agreement we had was that I would pay the money after 15 months. At the end of the day I was able to pay N1.4 million and got stocked. I couldn’t raise any money to pay her and she kept disturbing me.
“When I could no longer bear her stress, I took her to one of my friends Nuhu, who is a kidnapper. Before taking her to his place, I had called to tell him to kidnap her and collect good money from her because she is rich.
“So, I deceived her to escort me to my friend’s place. I told her I wanted to go and collect money to give to her. She followed me without suspecting anything because she needed her money. And so after discussing with Nuhu and his gang members that I am coming with her, they kidnapped her.
“But my hope of making money from her kidnapping was dashed. She was able to escape from their custody and went to another kidnap gang who collected N5.5 million from her as ransom.
“I did not gain anything because the group is not controlled by Nuhu. And I feel bad about the whole situation because my cousin has been nice to me.
“I am married and have three children. I feel very bad. I advice those who are in this habit to please walk away from it because if you are caught you will be made to face the law. I pray that my cousin will be able to forgive me for this bad thing that I did to her.”