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‘We’d have made N500m from kidnapping this December’

A gang of suspected kidnappers-cum-robbers who operate along the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway. They were arrested by IRT operatives
A gang of suspected kidnappers-cum-robbers who operate along the Enugu-Port Harcourt highway. They were arrested by IRT operatives

A member of a five-man kidnap gang, Sani Mohammed, who was arrested by operatives of the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, has disclosed that they would have made a haul of N500 million from kidnapping wealthy victims in Abuja, and Kaduna. He was arrested alongside three others from their base in Enugu State. Their arrest is sequel to the purported plan for the gang to kidnap one an Abuja-based businessman, Alhaji Ulere.

Those arrested along with Sani are: Babangida Garba, Dogo Ibrahim, and Ibrahim Haruna. Sani told the police interrogators that their plans were to make at least N500 million from ransom, from those they had intended to abduct in December.

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Sani, who the police described as one of the dangerous armed robbery suspects and kidnappers, admitted abducting a lot of affluent people in the past. In fact, the suspect said, he has lost count of the number of operations he has embarked on since he joined the gang in 2016. He narrated: “I’m from Zamfara State, and I was formerly into cattle-rearing. I had no formal education and I started off as a herder, which was the business my father was into.  I came to Abuja in 2007 in search for greener pastures. While in Abuja, I started working for one Alhaji Ulere. I left him and went to join a friend in Enugu State after my boss refused to pay me my money. While I was in Enugu I discovered that my friend already had an armed robbery gang and they were into kidnapping.  I joined them.”

Sani said at first they started robbing travellers on the Enugu Port Harcourt expressway. “Normally we block the expressway with heavy logs in the dead of the night, forcing vehicles to stop. We would rob all the occupants of their cash and valuables. We take the rich ones among them hostage in a forest in Enugu.  They will be released only when their relatives pay ransom.  I can’t count the numbers of robberies I have taken part in, but the one that got me into trouble was the kidnapping of my former boss, who sells cows in Abuja.  I told my friend Babangida about my boss and I told him that my boss usually sees me as a thief and that he thought I stole one of his cows. Babaginda accepted, and he went to Abuja to kidnap Alhaji. We kept him in a bush in Abuja before we demanded a ransom of N10 million from his family.  We didn’t know that they will go to the police, but while we were waiting for Dogo to bring the money, we got information that police were coming after us. We then abandoned my boss in the bush and fled.”

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Ibrahim Haruna, who is also a member of the gang, admitted being the owner of the AK-47 rifle used by the gang during their operations.

Force Public Relations Officer, Moshood Jimoh, who confirmed the arrest, said that the suspects are members of an armed gang which specializes in robbing and kidnapping motorists on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. He said that the gang was arrested by IRT operatives led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

Jimoh said that an AK-47 rifle and three locally-made guns, were recovered from the suspects, who he identified as Babangida Garba, Sani Mohammed, Ibrahim Dogo and Ibrahim Haruna. He said that the gang is responsible for the kidnap of a businessman, Alhaji Ulere, who sells cows at Lugbe area of Abuja.

 


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