Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Kaduna State Police Command yesterday paraded 39 suspected criminals, including a village head in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.
The village head, who was allegedly working for kidnappers, was among the 39 suspects paraded by the police public relations officer in the state, Yakubu Sabo, at the command’s headquarters in the state.
Other suspects included a gang that killed two of their abductees after collecting N2.8 million ransom and two suspects linked with the recent kidnap of six female students and two teachers of Engravers College, Kaduna.
The police spokesman said the village head of Ungwan Luka, Samaila, worked for kidnappers by giving them information and collecting share after taking ransom to them.
But Samaila, in an interview with newsmen, denied working for kidnappers, though he confessed being paid twice out of the three times he had taken ransom to the kidnappers.
He said: “I have helped people to take ransom to the kidnappers three times. The first time, the kidnappers rewarded me with N100,000, the second time, they gave me N50,000, but the third time, they didn’t give me anything.
“I know nothing about the policemen the kidnappers killed. God and the policewoman who was released are my witnesses. When I took the ransom to them, that was the third time I took ransom to the kidnappers, but after taking it, they refused to give me the policeman. Me and the other policewoman cried and begged them, but they refused.
“They said the policeman used to insult them. That day, they even collected my phone and they didn’t give me money that day.”
According to Sabo “Kaduna has some peculiar security challenges amongst which are armed banditry, cattle rustling, kidnapping, robbery and other violent crimes against law abiding citizens of the state.
“However, we have succeeded in reducing these crimes within our towns, villages and to a large extent on our major highways.
“Recently, the command has been relatively calm, as the bandits can no longer carry out any coordinated attack largely due to our strategic deployment as well as the public support we receive which force the criminals to resort to soft targets at outskirts and hamlets where there are no firm security structures.
“Some of these suspects confessed to series of kidnapping within and outside the state, including the killing of police personnel and two other victims at Kangimi after collecting millions of naira as ransom.
“We also recovered 10 AK47 rifles, four pump action, two locally made pistols, one locally made gun, 154 live Ammunition, 17 cartridges, four vehicles, four motorcycles and host of other recoveries.
“In view of the successes recorded and the drastic reduction in crime rate in the command within the period under review, we cannot afford to relent in our effort to sustain the gains.”