…Recover N14.72m from suspects

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Force headquarters of the police, Abuja yesterday paraded three soldiers, one of them retired and six others for the alleged kidnap of wife of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Mrs Margaret Emefiele.  She was kidnapped 12 days ago.

The Force spokesman, Don N Awunah, a Deputy commissioner of Police, who paraded the suspects at the Force Headquarters, said N14.725 million, three vehicles, one AK 47 magazine and two cartridges were recovered from them, adding that some of them got as high as N11 million from the ransom paid as bait to arrest them.

He gave the names of the suspects to include; 28-year old Lance Corporal Musa Maidabra, Lance Corporal Edwin George, 32, a dismissed soldier Ernest Anthony Uduefe and alleged gang leader Mohammed Abubakar (aka Dogo), aged 29.

George, who purchased a Honda car worth N1.1 million with the loot, was arrested in his home-town in Otukpo, Benue State.

“IGP Ibrahim K Idris is committed in ensuring that all forms of crime, fear of crime and particularly kidnap for ransom and other violent crimes are brought to the lowest ebb throughout the country. Similarly, the IGP is determined to make sure that all those who are engaged in kidnappings and armed criminal activities will not escape justice.

“Mrs Margaret Emefiele and three of her aides were abducted on September 29 at Oquneki Hills along Benin-Agbo Road, Delta State. Consequent upon deployment of intelligence platform, she and her aides were rescued the next day unhurt and the suspects arrested with exhibits comprising N14.725 million, three vehicles (Two Honda and an Audi cars), one AK 47 magazine and two cartridges.

“Suspect Maidabara, a native of Katau village in Gombe State, arrested for his role in the kidnap is with the Nigerian Army, serving at 122D20 Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State. On investigation, a jeep worth N1.5 million and a sum of N4 million which was his own share of the ransom, was recovered from him.

“In company of George Edwin and dismissed soldier Uduefe, Maidabara escorted some of the kidnappers and the ransom money in a maroon colour Audi car to the forest where they had kept the victim in Benin City, Edo State,” he said.

Warning Nigerians to stop paying ransom to kidnappers, the police said: “It is absolutely important to mention that the police do not and will not encourage payment of ransom. The relatives of victims of kidnap for ransom are strongly advised to exercise considerable caution to succumb in payment of ransom. It is inherently counterproductive. At all times of kidnap scenario, it is pertinent the police are involved and trusted.”