From Ngozi Uwujare

The Kwara State Police Command has arrested 10 suspected armed robbers, kidnappers and cultists.

Those arrested, it was gathered, include the three suspected kidnappers who allegedly masterminded the kidnapping of a magistrate, Jumoke Bamigboye. Bamigboye is the wife of a former military administrator of Osun State, retired Col. Theophilus Bamigboye.

They allegedly demanded a ransom of N100 million and while negotiation was on for N50 million, they were nabbed through the female suspect who was reportedly feeding the woman.

The same gang had allegedly murdered about 10 victims who were going to the farm along Offa Garage/Kilanko axis of Ilorin, Kwara state.

Kwara State Commissioner of  Police,  Mr. Paul Odama told Saturday Sun that it was a serious challenge when the hoodlums kidnapped Magistrate Jumoke Bamigboye on November 5, on her farm located at Ayegun village  via  Eyenkorin, Ilorin around 5.30pm.

He said it was when information got to him that he ordered the Anti-Kidnapping Unit to swing into action and that with assistance by the vigilantes and local hunters, they combed the bushes and searched for possible rescue of the victims who were hidden in the forest between Eyenkorin /Afon/Ogbomoso axis.

He said the kidnappers were demanding a ransom of N100 million while the family negotiated N50 million. This, he noted, prompted the police operatives to have an encounter with the kidnappers and they rescued the victim, Magistrate Bamigboye  on November 7, 2022, while  the three suspected kidnappers were also re-arrested .

He gave the names of those arrested as Abubakar Ibrahim, Mamud Ibrahim, Muhammed  Kiri and the female suspect, Abibatu Jimoh.

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Abubakar Ibrahim, one of the suspected kidnappers, told Saturday Sun that she hails from Kano state and he is into cattle rearing.

“We formed a gang of 15 armed robbers and kidnappers and we have kidnapped various victims around the Ilorin/Osun boundary through various operations. We used to kidnap males and female victims and take them to our den in the forest. The victims sometimes spend four or five days and we have had several encounters with the police operatives who had neutralized us and we had to regroup and form another gang.

“We didn’t know that the victim we kidnapped on November 4, 2022 was a magistrate. We kidnapped her on her farm. We demanded N100 million, later we negotiated with the family who promised to send us N30 million. Suddenly, we heard a gunshot and we wanted to abandon the victims and we were arrested and we confessed to the police operatives.”

Another suspect, Abibatu Jimoh said: “I joined the gang members two years ago. Once my gang members have kidnapped victims, my major role was to feed the victims. When the magistrate was kidnapped, I had to supply Gari (cassava flakes) and other food items which I used to feed the victim while she was in captivity.”

The police commissioner, Mr Odama stated that the same gang had, in October 2022, abducted the traditional ruler, Abdukrahaman Ifabiyi of Owaonire in Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State, his wife and the driver.

He said: “It was my tactical team that swung into action and rescued them while the other gang members escaped.”

He said two other gang members were arrested in the forest, namely Bello Abubakar,  31, and Bawa Seketri, 30.

Mr Odama said all the arrested suspects would soon be charged to court. 

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