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‘How kidnappers of CBN governor wife shared ransom’

By Karls Tsokar, Abuja   |   11 October 2016   |   3:55 am
Suspected kidnappers of Mrs Emefiele

Suspected kidnappers of Mrs Emefiele

Police parade nine suspects
• Two serving army personnel involved

Nine persons were yesterday paraded by the police for allegedly kidnapping the wife of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mrs. Margaret Emefiele. They were found with N14.75 million cash.

Two of the suspects, who are serving Army personnel, said they were given N6.5 million each for lifting the loot to a safe haven.

Parading the suspects at the Force Headquarters, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Don Awunah, said the Inspector General of Police (IGP Ibrahim Idris, had ordered the Intelligence Monitoring Team and deployed other tactical teams to swing into action to get those responsible for the crime.

It would be recalled that on Friday, September 29, 2016, Mrs. Emefiele was abducted with three of her aides, while travelling along Benin-Agbor Road in Delta State.

They were, however, rescued the next day after a ransom was paid to the kidnappers, who had established contact with her husband.

Though the police leadership said some of the other suspects remotely connected with the crime were on the run, Awunah named the suspects in the police net as Musa Maidabra and Edwin George, both of them serving Lance Corporals (L/Cpl) in the Nigeria Army.

Ernest Anthony Uduefe, 32, is a dismissed soldier, Mohammed Abubakar, alias Dogo (gang leader), Mohammed Musa, Mohammed Sule, Ibrahim Abdullahi, Aliyu Musa and Mohammed Yusuf, 36.

Awunah explained that the L/Cpl Maidabara NA/65/7115, arrested with a sports utility vehicle and N4 million and Edwin George NA/65/6582, both serving at
122D30 Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State, were “part of the trio that escorted the ransom money to Benin City Edo State”.

It was discovered in the course of investigation that the two soldiers and Uduefe, “the dismissed soldier, while dressed in army uniform, escorted some of the kidnappers and the ransom money in a maroon colour Audi car out of the forest where they had kept the victim, to Benin City, Edo State”.

The suspects when questioned, said they were kidnappers but the two soldiers denied their direct involvement in the crime.

Both confirmed that they were given N6.5 million each for their short roles.

But George said: “I didn’t know what happened. I was not involved in kidnapping. They gave me N6.5 million just to escort them. I was called but I didn’t know what happened.”

Maidabara said: “We were given N6.5 million for escorting the money. We carried the money and ran away with it to Benin City.”

Awunah added: “ We will continue to limit the capacity of kidnappers and other criminals to disrupt the quality of life of Nigerians by the deployment of adequate manpower and resources in crime reduction, detection and effective prosecution of offenders in courts of competent jurisdiction.

“The curtailment of the activities of kidnappers in our communities will be ultimately successful through the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders. There must be collective ownership of law enforcement.”

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