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Police arrest suspects in Kaduna Baptist school kidnap, church robbers

By Odita Sunday, Abuja
24 September 2021   |   3:24 am
Three kingpins involved in kidnap of over one hundred students of Bethel Baptist school, Kaduna have been arrested by the police.

The Suspected Kidnappers

Three kingpins involved in kidnap of over one hundred students of Bethel Baptist school, Kaduna have been arrested by the police.
  
The suspects, who were cladded in military uniform, confessed to the crime, and revealed that 25 of them abducted the students. The suspects were paraded yesterday by police spokesman, CP Frank Mba.
 
They are: Adamu Bello, Isiaku Lawal and Muazu Abubakar. Abubakar, 27,  said their desperate need for money  propelled them to commit the crime. He said: “25 of us carried out the operation. We kidnapped 136 students and I got N100,000 share of the money.”

 
The command’s anti-crime outfit, Special Tactical Squad (STS) commanded by DCP Yusuf Kolo, also arrested a Nasarawa State born, fake Army Captain, Monday Akawu, who specialised in stealing musical instruments from churches in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
 
Akawu, 39 is said to be a member of a criminal syndicate that robbed more than 16 churches within Nyanya and Karu area of the FCT.
   
He was paraded alongside his accomplice and buyer of the stolen church equipment, Joseph Orazulike, 35, a resident of EFAB Estate, Maraba, Karu.   
 
While parading the suspects, Mba said the suspects have committed a “sacrilegious act” and thereby urged church leaders to provide “more security around their churches.”
  
The suspect, Akawu confessed that he has participated in the burglary of at least 16 churches located in Nasarawa and some parts of Abuja. He also said the churches he robbed include, The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Mountain of Fire Ministries (MFM).
 
He said he usually dressed in Army uniform to beat security checks after each robbery. He said: “I am here because I stole from the church. I have so far stolen from sixteen churches, which includes Mountain of Fire and The Redeemed Church of God.
   
“When I break into a church, my boss taught me to bring those instruments out while a vehicle comes with Nigeria Army uniforms; I change into the uniform to bypass security on the road.
  
“I usually sell each (piano) keyboard for between N60,000 to N90,000 depending on how neat they are.” Monday is said to be an ex-convict who was jailed at Kuje Prison over a rape case while Joseph was also arrested before for receiving stolen items.
  
Briefing newsmen further on recent operations and investigative breakthroughs by operatives of the special Tactical squad in Abuja, Mba said, a total of 50 suspects comprising 48 male and two females were arrested.
  
The suspects, he said have been indicted for different offences ranging from murder, kidnapping, cattle rustling, armed robbery, car theft, illegal possessions of prohibited firearms, possession and distribution of illicit drugs among other offences established against them. 
  
According to Mba, items recovered from the arrested suspects include: 26 assorted firearms, made up of 13 AK 47 rifles, four soft machine guns, four locally made pistols, four dane guns, among others.
  
Also recovered were 2, 701 live ammunition of AK 47, 20 live GPMG ammunition, 12 piano keyboards and other electronic appliances stolen from churches.
 
Mba revealed that investigations conducted showed how Monday Akawu, the principal suspect, has had a long pathway with crime.
  
The suspect, he explained, has come to the “end of the road as the force would do everything possible within the law to ensure that he spends the remaining years in jail.”
 
He urged churches in Abuja and across the country to ensure physical security in and around the churches as investigation with the suspects indicated  that the suspects considered the churches vulnerable and weak targets because they believe that there are no guards or security of any sort around.