Kidnap suspect buys car, pays debt from ransom ―witness

A Lokoja High Court was on Wednesday told how a kidnapping suspect, Momodu Onuku, paid debts and bought car out of the N12 million ransom collected from the victim of the operation.

A witness in the suit, David Olanrewaju, a principal legal officer with the Department of State Security (DSS) told the court presided over by Justice Sunday Otu, that the accused got N2.5 million out of the ransom collected from the victim, Adamu Makama.

Onuku and others at large were arraigned at the court for the alleged kidnapping of Makama in Ankpa, Ankpa local government area if the state.

When the case resumed for hearing in the court, Olanrewaju in his examination -in -chief gave a graphic detail of how Onuku was arrested and the confessional statement he made.

According to him, Onuku’s Nokia 105 was used by the kidnappers for negotiations for the ransom, adding that he was located with the aid of GPRS.

He said, “The accused’s phone, a Nokia 105 was used during negotiations with the wife of the victim and one other person, Haruna Salifu, we later forwarded the numbers to our communication intelligence unit for geolocation of the owners and this led to the arrest of the accused person arrested on in Dutse Alhaji, Abuja on February 23”.

The witness explained that the accused in his statement said out if his share of the ransom, he used N1,130,000 to settle debt, N650, 000 for purchase of a gulf car, N150, 000 on house rent, while N311, 000 was used for household purchase.

Olanrewaju added that N203, 540 was found on the accused when he was arrested.

However, counsel to the accused person, Glory Zekeri, objected to the admissibility of the statement as an exhibit before the court, claiming that her client was beaten and tortured before the statement was taken.

She said the accused person had stated that the statement was not voluntarily taken from him as he was intimidated before giving the statement.

But under cross examination, Olanrewaju said the defendant gave the statement under a conducive atmosphere, denying torturing him before making the statement.

He said the accused had expressed dismay on how he was arrested with the geo-location of his phone, adding that based on the development he offered to make the confessional statement.

The presiding judge however adjourned the case to June 13 to enable prosecution close his case and the defendant open his defense.

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