Police arrest seven suspected kidnappers of former minister
The Nigeria Police Force said it had on January 1, arrested seven suspected kidnappers of a former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Bagudu Hirse.The suspects are: Dominic Nwakpa, aka Alhaji, gang leader, Ifeanyi Chukwu, second-in-command, Balat Paul, 30, driver and principal suspect, Ibrahim Samuel, IB, 27, principal suspect.
Others are: Jatau Peter, 29, a dismissed police man, Afini Paul, younger sister to the driver and owner of the house, where kidnapped victims were kept and Clinton Abere, a principal suspect.
The Force Spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Don Awunah, disclosed this yesterday while presenting the suspects to newsmen in Abuja.Awunah said that items recovered from the suspects included: two English made pump action guns, 131 rounds of AK 47 ammunition, police camouflage uniform and two military face caps.
Others are: two operational vehicles, one cell phone used for negotiation and collection of ransom, a red face mask, anti-car tracking device and one black criminal charm jacket.
He said that the gang was smashed with the arrest of Nwakpa, who is the gang leader, in Lagos State, while four other principal suspects were arrested in Kaduna.
Awunah said that Chukwu confessed to be the second-in-command in the operation that led to the kidnapping of the ambassador and so many other kidnapping cases within and outside Kaduna, Abia, Imo, Rivers, and Delta states.
He said that the suspects upon interrogation volunteered confessional statements admitting kidnapping Hirse in Kaduna on Nov. 20, 2016 and releasing him after collecting ransom.
‘’The same gang confessed to the kidnap of Dr. Abdulmalik Durunguwa and his wife at their residence at different intervals in Kaduna,“ he said.The spokesman said the gang was also responsible for the kidnapping of a member of Kaduna State House of Assembly, Mr. Ibrahim Samaila on August 26, 2016 in Kaduna.
“ All the seven suspects, while undergoing interrogation, confessed and admitted to the various criminal roles they played in the commission of the crimes,“ he said.He said that the suspects would be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.
In a related development, Awunah said the police had arrested two suspected kidnappers and armed robbers in Kaduna on January 1.The suspects are: Maisamari Dan Katsina, gang leader and ex-Sergeant Bulus Jatau, a dismissed police man.
He said items recovered from them included, one pump action gun No. 40311, Berretta Pistol No. AO7184Z, four English revolver pistols No. 72634, 25727, 9D09270 and G191X194, 50 rounds of 9mm live ammunition and one expended.
Others are 31 live cartridges, one fake firearm licence, one Golf car, one Prado Jeep, one Toyota cricket (in police custody in Kaduna), one Toyota corolla and one set of camouflage police uniform.
He said the suspects had been on the wanted list of the police for several kidnappings, armed robberies and other violent crimes within Kaduna and neighbouring states.
Awunah said the suspects had volunteered confessional statements to police admitting to the various roles they played in the commission of several kidnappings and armed robbery attacks in Kaduna.
He said effort was being intensified to arrest the remaining members of the notorious gang still at large.“They will be charged to court on completion of investigation,“ he said.
The spokesman said that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) had assured Nigerians of adequate security and commitment of the police to further reduce the rate of crime and criminality across the country.He urged Nigerians to be law abiding and volunteer useful information to the police in their localities.