Molly Kilete,Abuja & Christopher Oji, Lagos
The Nigerian Police Force headquarters in Abuja has arrested the kidnappers and killers of Nnadi Michael, a Catholic seminarian at the Catholic Good Shepherd Major Seminary in Gonin Gora, Kakau in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
The deceased was abducted alongside three of his colleagues on January 9, when the gang raided the seminary, while the remaining three were released on January, 31, after collecting a ransom of an undisclosed amount from their families.
The suspects, Tukur Usman, 37; Shehu Bello, 40 and Mustapha Mohammed, 30; all of Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State, were arrested by detectives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said the suspects who are members of a deadly kidnap gang were responsible for the kidnap and murder of Dr. Phillip Ataga’s wife and two daughters on January 24, 2020 at Juji Community in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. Mrs Ataga was said to have being killed after she refused the leader of the gang to rape her.
He said the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, had ordered for the manhunt and arrest of other members of the gang who are on the run.
Mba, in a statement, said “Police operatives have arrested a deadly criminal gang responsible for the kidnap and murder of a Catholic seminarian, Nnadi Michael of the Catholic Good Shepherd Major Seminary at Gonin Gora, Kakau in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. Recall that, on January 9, 2020, the criminal gang stormed the Catholic Seminary and kidnapped four (4) seminarians, murdered one of them in cold blood and released the remaining three on 31st January, 2020, having obtained a ransom. The remains of the fourth Seminarian were found in a bush where abandoned.
“The suspects: Tukur Usman ‘m’ aged 37, father of 7, Shehu Bello ‘m’ aged 40, father of 5 and Mustapha Mohammed ‘m’ aged 30, father of 1, all of Igabi LGA of Kaduna State were arrested after several months of intensive and extensive intelligence-led operations by crack detectives of the Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
“Discreet investigations so far reveal that the arrested suspects are part of a 19-man gang that also carried out the kidnap of Dr Phillip Ataga’s wife and two daughters on January 24, 2020 at Juji Community in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. Mrs Ataga was killed by the gang following her heroic resistance to the despicable and inhuman attempt by the leader of the gang to rape her. The suspects after killing her released the daughters and corpse of the slain woman to the family after collecting ransom.
“Further investigations reveal that the same criminal gang is responsible for the kidnap of six students and two teachers of Engravers College, Chikun LGA, Kaduna, from their school premises on October 3, 2019. The suspects, known to belong to a hybrid terrorist criminal network causing untold havoc in North-Central, Nigeria, have confessed to several other random operations along Abuja-Kaduna Expressway where they kidnapped, killed and robbed motorists, collecting ransom and valuables running into millions of naira.
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, while reiterating that the Force will remain unrelenting in ensuring that crimes across the country are reduced to the barest minimum, assures the nation that the Force will not rest until the other members of the gang also responsible for the above crimes, but currently on the run, are apprehended and brought to book.