By Ngozi Uwujare
Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in Abuja have arrested eight suspects, who they described as “notorious and high profile killers and kidnappers.”
The suspects, it was gathered, killed 93-year-old Pa Dariye Dafwan, father of former Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Joshua Dariye in Horp Community, Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Late Pa Dariye was abducted on June 17, 2020. He was shot dead eight days after the criminals had collected a N10million ransom from the family of the deceased.
The suspects were arrested, the police said, following unrelenting efforts by the IRT team “which ensured that the perpetrators of the dastardly act are arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.
In an exclusive chat with the Saturday Sun, ÏRT operatives said that the criminals were members of a 25-man gang of notorious killers and kidnappers who have been terrorising many states in the North-Central, North-East and North-West, including Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Bauchi and Kaduna states since 2020. They were said to have kidnapped several victims and collected millions of naira from victims’ families.
Saturday Sun was told that it was after a rigorous intelligence gathering that the IRT team was able to dismantle the camp of the criminal gang. It was gathered that following an intense gun battle with the suspects, some of the kidnappers escaped with bullet wounds.
It was further gathered that the operatives recovered some sophisticated weapons from them.
“Whenever they wanted to carry out their operations, they would always meet at Horop Central Primary School in Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State and since July 2020, they have been having serious meetings on how to abduct and kidnap the Late Pa Dariye Dafwan,” an operative who didn’t want his name in print told the reporter.
Earlier, on June 18, 2020, the same gang had kidnapped a woman in Magar Village in Plateau State. The police said the gang had kidnapped over 40 victims in various states and taken their victims to their camp in Giddri Local Government Area of Plateau State where they collected millions of naira as ransom from the victims’ family.
“Sometimes, the victims spend 10 days or 15 days in their custody. They killed some kidnapped victims and abandoned their corpses in the forest,” a source told the reporter.
It was further learnt that when they wanted to kidnap Pa Dariye Dafwan on June 14,2020, the eight suspected killers and kidnappers all gathered at Horop Central Primary school in Bokkos L.G.A Plateau State and met many times. Their final meeting, the reporter learnt, was held on June 17, 2020, the day they carried out the operation. Some members of the gang involved in the operation were Titus Ezekiel, Sunday Ibrahim, Yah Saidu, Henry Amos, Dauda Isa and Mangut Shumirara.
It was on June 17, 2020 around 12.00noon that they kidnapped Pa Dariye Dafwan and took him to Boddel Forest, where he spent five days. They later relocated him from the Boddel Forest to Horop Forest at Bokkos Local Government Area. They subsequently demanded a ransom of N500 million.
Meanwhile, the Dariye family offered to pay N5million, but the kidnappers refused and requested for N200 million. Later the kidnappers agreed for N10 million. But unknown to the Dariye family, by that time, they had already killed Pa Dariye. The Dariye family then paid N10 million to the kidnappers.
The IRT operatives added that it was one of the gang members, Henry Amos who collected the ransom.
Henry Amos was said to have handed the cool N10 million cash to Sunday Ibrahim, who also handed the money over to his master, Jethro Ngusen. Jethro Ngusen took only N500,000 and was said to have handed over the remaining amount to the gang. Members then shared the loot among themselves.
The IRT operatives explained further that it took the IRT over three months to investigate and search for the killers.
“Within the last 30 days, we were able to arrest the eight suspects within Plateau State while the mastermind, Jethro Ngusen was arrested in July this year in Abuja. The eight suspects are Abubakar Mohammed, 18,; Yas Saidu, 40; Titus Ezekiel, 35;, Dauda Isah, 20; Sunday Ibrahim, 38; Henry Amos, 35, and Jethro Ngusen, 57. They have all confessed to the crime,” the operatives told Saturday Sun.
One of the top suspects who masterminded the killing and kidnapping, Mr. Jethro Ngusen told Saturday Sun his story.
Hear him: “I was born in Horop in Mushore District Bokkos Local Government Area of Plateau State. I attended Horop Central Primary School. I proceeded to Government Day Secondary School and went to University of Jos. I studied Public Administration. I am a self employed politician. I am married with two wives and 12 children. I am a member of APC in Jos. I am planning to contest and go to the House of Representatives under the APC’
“I have a good relationship with the former Governor of Plateau State, Mr. Joshua Dariye. In 1999, I supported with other youths to ensure he won the 2003 governorship election. I also worked for him to win the second term. Throughout his tenure, the former Governor, Mr. Joshua Dariye, didn’t give me any appointment and I complained to him. It was Atiku Abubakar, the then Vice president who gave me appointment in 2018, when Dariye went to the Senate under the PDP.
“I was the one who masterminded the kidnapping and killing of Papa Dariye Dafwan. I had to mobilise the youth and give the job to Sunday Ibrahim. I supplied them with AK 47 rifles and pistols and gave them the arms to carry out the operation. Yar Saidu, one of the gang members, also brought AK 47 rifles to enable them to carry out the operation. It was in June 17, 2020 that they kidnapped Papa Dariye Dafwan and we demanded N500million as ransom. Later we collected N10million. It was one of the gang members, Mangut Shumuwar who fired the old man who died on the spot. They cut his two legs and hands and dumped the corpse in the forest. They brought the N10 million to me through my boy, Sunday Ibrahim. I only took N500, 000 and left the rest for them to share. Yes, I was the one who sent the kidnappers but if you give your children assignment, and your children mess up the assignment, then it is unfortunate. My mission was not to kill him, but to collect a ransom. I want the family of Dariye to forgive me. It was when I was driving home in Abuja that the IRT operatives double-crossed my car and arrested me.”
Another suspect, Ibrahim Sunday, also explained his part in the story. Said he: “I have been involved in several kidnapping and armed robbery cases in various states, especially in Plateau State. It was my boss, Jethro Ngusen who brought the assignment that I should mobilise some youths who would kidnap Papa Dariye Dafwan. I mobilised ten men to carry out the operation. He supplied us with AK 47 rifles and pistols to carry out the operation. I have been following my boss during the 1999 campaign for former Governor Joshua Dariye. They didn’t do anything for us. That was prompted us to collect our own share of N10 million naira and we mistakenly killed the old man in the process,” he said.
Yet another suspect, Yau Saidu noted: “We have been involved in several kidnappings and armed robbery in Jos. We have kidnapped more than five times, and we collected millions of naira from the victims’ family. I participated in the kidnapping of late Papa Dariye. I supplied some sophisticated weapons which they used to carry out the operation.”
One of the deceased’s children, Dr. Haruna Dariye also spoke with Saturday Sun where he explained how the news hit the family.
“It was on June 17, 2020 that we heard that they had kidnapped our father, Pa. Dariye Dafwan. When the news broke out, it was one of the kidnappers who called us and demanded N500 million. We started negotiating with them to N5million but they refused and they said they wanted N200 million. We pleaded for N60 million again until the killers agreed for N10 million. We paid the N10 million but they still killed our father. We informed the Plateau State Police Command, DSS and other security agencies. We didn’t see the corpse of our father until they were arrested recently and took us to the forest where they abandoned the corpse. We didn’t see the legs or hands. The corpse has been taken to a mortuary in Jos. Thank God at last, but justice must be done. IRT operatives have done excellent work arresting the eight kidnappers and killers of our father, Pa Dariye.”
Another suspect that also spoke with Saturday Sun was Abubakar Mohammed a.k.a. Buba. Hear his confession: “I am one of the principal suspects in the kidnapping operation. We abducted and murdered the late Pa Dariye. I assisted the police team to arrest the remaining seven suspects. It was Jethro Ngusen who masterminded and convened the gang that instructed one of the members, Mangut Shumwan to kill Papa Dariye because he feared that Papa Dariye might recognise him since majority of them are from the same village with the deceased.”
The new Commander of the IRT, Mr. Olatunji Disu, a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) said the police recovered AK47 rifles as well as several rounds of cartridges and magazines from the suspects. He said they would soon be charged to court.