By NGOZI UWUJARE
the road has ended for 27-year-old Mohammed Umar and members of his gang, who abducted and killed a 35-year-old female lecturer at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, Christiana Onyenowo Agbulu, who was in Lokoja, Kogi State capital, to visit a friend. The gang was also alleged to be responsible for the death of 24-year-old Grace Onaivi, a 300 Level student of International Relations at Kogi State University, Ayingba, who was kidnapped by it.
After alighting at Ganaja junction in Lokoja, Christiana was said to have hired a commercial motorcyclist, to take her to a place close to a first generation bank, where her boyfriend, Shember Aondogu Levi, was waiting to receive her. As she did not know the place, she handed over her mobile phone to the commercial motorcyclist to get instructions from the Levi as to how to get to his location.
Unknown to her, the commercial motorcyclist, whose name turned out to be Musa Nuhu, also known by the sobriquet, Black, was a member of a kidnap gang operating in the state. Along the way, he veered off the direction given to him by Levi and rather headed into Powerline road off the Okene-Abuja Expressway. From there he took Christiana to the gang’s hideout in Sango Daji area of Lokoja, Kogi State., where she was blindfolded with her legs and hands bound. The members of the gang raped her and also took her ATM cards and forced her to divulge the password. They then proceeded to withdraw N80,000 from her account. Not satisfied with that amount, they demanded N150,000 ransom from her family.
Sunday Sun further learnt from the Kogi State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Wilson Inalegwu that the abduction happened on November 26, 2016. Inalegwu explained that Levi became alarmed when he could no longer reach Christiana and the motorcyclist on the phone after repeated attempted to put through a call. He rushed to a police station to file a report that she may have been kidnapped.
Recounting the experience, Levi told Sunday Sun: “First, let me state Christiana and myself were mates in the university. She was my girlfriend. Four years after we graduated, we lost contact. But we reconnected through the internet and discovered that we were both still single. We decided to marry on November 26, 2017. She was coming from Makurdi to Lokoja and I told her to drop at Ganaja junction. I started directing the commercial motorcyclist on how to bring her to where I was waiting for her at First Bank. Then I lost communication with her and the motorcyclist. I became alarmed and quickly went to report to the SARS office after waiting for while.”
Acting on the information, Inalegwu said that the commander of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Supol Bimbo Oyewole and his operatives swung into action. They contacted her bank and learnt that abductors had already made withdrawals from her account through two banks – UBA and Stanbic-IBTC. Fortunately the cameras of the ATMs captured good images of the gang members that made the withdrawals.
Armed with the pictures of the alleged suspects, SARS detectives launched a manhunt for them and on December 30, 2016, SARS operatives arrested some of the suspects at Obokolo waterside and Natako area of Lokoja.
Supol Oyewole listed the names of those arrested as: Sanusi Jubril, 33; Caleb Moses, 28; Nuhu Musa a.k.a Black Mudi Sali, 33 . He added that all three are indigenes of Igala in Ankpa Local Government, Kogi state and Serikinuma.
In the course of interrogation they revealed details of the crime and on January 3, 2017, Nuhu Musa took the SARS Commander, and members of his team to the hideout of the gang in a bush in the Sango Daji area, where they saw the badly decomposed body Christiana.
Inalegwu added that the members of the gang confessed their involvement in the abduction of 24-year-old Grace Onaivi in December 2016. Similar manner, she had hired a motorcyclist in the Natako area to take her to her house. Instead the motorcyclist took her to the gang’s hideout at Barrack area, not far from Sango Daji. The gang tied her hands and legs and raped her to death. They took her ATM car and withdrew money from her account. The body of the victim was later discovered in the gangs’ hideout.
When he was arrested, Mohammed Umar told detectives how the two deceased victims spent six weeks in their custody. He also revealed that some abducted victims escaped from the their hideout. The SARS commander said that the police invited some of the victims mentioned by Umar. And when he was taken to the homes of some of the victims, they positively identified him as a member of the gang that kidnapped them.
Umar known by the name, Kogi, revealed that the gang killed Christiana when the ransom it wanted was not forthcoming. He added: “We go after women only. Some of our gang members use commercial motorcycles at Natako area, Lokoja, to carry any female passenger. Then we immediately take the lady to our hideout at Sango Daji area Lokoja. When we kidnapped the lecturer, stripped her naked and five of us raped her. We tied her two legs and two hands. We took her ATM card and withdrew N80, 000 naira. We called her relatives and demanded a ransom of N150, 000 naira. It was when the money was not forthcoming that we killed her. We kidnapped the student when she took a bike from Natako area and gang member who is an Okada rider took her to one of our hideouts at Barrack area not far from Sango. We tied her legs and hands. We raped her and took her ATM card, and used it to withdraw some money from her bank and also collected N50,000 cash from her.
“About 10 victims escaped from us. One of them, name withheld, was a youth corps member who came from Bayelsa to Ajaokuta. She boarded a motorcycle to Ganaja junction. Immediately we took her to our hideout, seized her ATM card and withdraw some money. We also got N150,000 ransom from the parents. She later escaped from us.”
Giving more details of the gangs activities, Umar said: “We kidnapped Blessing (other names concealed), when she hired a commercial motorcycle from Nataco junction. Immediately I called my gang members and we took her to the bush. She started shouting but we overpowered her and took her ATM card to withdraw money. By the time we came back from the bank, the rope had loosened and she escaped.”
Umar was arrested by the police during another robbery operation along Osare/Lokoja expressway. Inalegwu said that the suspects would be charged to court soon.