FIVE people, including a dismissed police officer, have been arrested over a series of kidnapping incidents in Kaduna State.
The arrests were made by the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT), led by Abba Kyari, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Crime Reports learnt that the suspects, who were picked from different parts of the country, including Lagos and Kaduna states, included a female member who was allegedly responsible for the feeding of victims of the gang.
Some of the victims of the gang included Ambassador Hirse Bagudu, Dr Abdulmalik Durunguwa, a former member of the Kaduna State of Assembly and his wife.
The gang reportedly abducted the assembly member, collected an unspecified amount of money as ransom and still went ahead to kidnap the wife.
The suspects were identified as Dominic Nwapaka, Balat Peter, Ibrahim Samuel, Afini Paul, Ifeanyi Akamba and the dismissed police officer, Jato Peter, while two other members of the gang, Clinton Oby and Sani are currently at large.
Two pump action guns, two AK-47 rifles, as well as military and police uniforms, were recovered from the bandits’ hideout.
Speaking with Crime Reports, 33-year-old Nwapaka, who narrated how he got involved in crime, stated that they didn’t know Dr (Mrs) Abdulmalik was the wife of their former captive.
Crime Reports gathered that during investigation, 33-year-old Nwapaka narrated how he got involved in crime thus: “I am from Abia state. I was born in Lagos State. In 2006, I met a guy called John who was a motorcycle operator and we became friends. He introduced me to two soldiers known as Paul and Oliver and we went to Jos. On our way back to Kaduna, we robbed a filling station.
“We were arrested and taken to Kaduna and later remanded in prison. We spent four years in prison before we were granted bail. When I came out, I went to work with a factory as a manager and raised some money to return to school for my Higher National Diploma course.
“I met Clinton in Enugu and he introduced me to one Alhaji Abdulahi Garukuwa in Kaduna. It seemed Clinton had been doing business with the man before I met him. When I called Alhaji, he invited us to come to Kaduna. Since I was familiar with the state, I agreed. He told me he used to buy stolen cars.”
“The man bought guns for us. He would take us in his car, and if we snatched a car, he called a driver, who would take it away. We stole several cars for him and we raised enough money which we used in renting an apartment in Asaba, Delta State, as well as a shop.
“There was a time Alhaji invited us to Kaduna. Before then, Ifeanyi had offered to join us. I decided to take him to Kaduna, but on our way, a laptop got missing in the vehicle we boarded. As people’s bags were being searched, I tried to hide my bag when it got to my turn because there was a gun in it. Those searching the bags found it and I was arrested, charged to court and remanded in prison.”
“When I was released, my house rent was due so I relocated to my village. Ifeanyi then called me and introduced me to some of his friends who were into kidnapping. We kidnapped an importer in Aba. It was one guy known as Wakawe who brought the job. The importer paid N5 million before he was released.”
He added: “We also kidnapped a medical doctor and kept him in the house of a gang member known as Uche. A sum of N10 million was paid as ransom before he was released. We also kidnapped another medical doctor and we collected N470,000 and Toyota Sequia SUV. Those were the jobs I did with Ifeanyi and his gang in Abia before I reclocated to Kaduna because people started looking for kidnappers in Abia.
“In Kaduna, I called Clinton and he brought a guy known as ‘Commissioner’ who had a car. We went into kidnapping and it was one Bala who brought the first job of kidnapping of Abdulmalik. We kept him for days and the sum of N5 million was paid for his release. We also kidnapped a member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly and he gave us N10 million. We then kidnapped Dr (Mrs) Abdulmalik but we didn’t know that she was the wife of our former captive.
“Before we were arrested, we kidnapped an ambassador. We found him and two others in a gathering and we went after them. We kidnapped the ambassador and he gave us N1million before he was released. I was arrested in Lagos when I came to visit my sister. They called my names and I answered and they took me to my sister’s house and took their phones so that they will not call my friends. The police have recovered the car I bought with the proceeds of crimes I committed.”
In his confession, another suspect, Ifeanyi, said: “I went into kidnapping in 2015. I have been involved in five kidnap operations – four in Aba and one in Kaduna.