Greed gave us away-kidnapper of Osun speaker’s wife

Speaker, Osun state House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salaam
Speaker, Osun state House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salaam

A member of a kidnap gang that abducted the wife of the Speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Muibat Salaam, has blamed the gang’s busting on the greed of its leader, who is now at large.

Chukwuma Usifo, who said he travelled from Delta state to Oshogbo, Osun state, for the operation, told PREMIUM TIMES the insistence of the gang’s leader on the ransom of N200 million, when Mrs. Salaam’s family had offered N25 million, was responsible for their arrest.

Mrs. Salaam was rescued by the state’s Vigilance service on Saturday after five days in captivity. She was kidnapped in Osun State as she left her goods store on Tuesday. The kidnappers later transferred her to nearby Ogun state where she was eventually rescued.

Two of her abductors were killed while three others were arrested by the vigilante.

Speaking at the Eleweran Police Headquarters, Abeokuta, one of the suspects, Mr. Usifo said the gang had demanded a ransom of N200million from the victim’s husband, who pleaded he could afford only N25 million.

While other gang members agreed to the reduction, the 28 year old suspect claimed the ring leader and three others, yet to be arrested, insisted on payment of N200million ransom.

However, just about 24 hours after the collapsed negotiation, the suspect said, the Vigilance team swooped on their hideout.

He said their victim was fed with bread and La Casera fruit drink for the days she was kept in captivity, denying that she was maltreated.

The suspect further disclosed that the victim was abducted into a Mazda car, before being transferred into a truck arranged by the gang which took them to the hideout in Ogun State.

On Monday, the Ogun State Police Commissioner, Ikemefuna Okoye, said he has handed Mrs. Salaam to his Osun state counterpart for onward delivery to her family.