The Nigerian police said they have foiled a plan by some suspected kidnappers to abduct a popular businessman, Femi Otedola.
The police in a statement released on Wednesday by its spokesman, Don Awunah, said they arrested three members of a notorious gang which had planned to abduct Mr. Otedola, and demand N1 billion to release him.
The police said the suspects were arrested on June 23 through coordinated intelligence gathering and deployment of technical investigative tools that spanned several weeks.
The police gave the name of the principal suspect as Ikechukwu Daniel, a 28 years old indigene of Imo State said to have been rusticated from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 2010 because of cult related activities.
Mr. Daniel, said to have mastery of computer applications, confessed to his past criminal exploits in the south west of the country, the police said.
The police also mentioned a serving officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Adeyemi Kayode, as being among the arrested suspects.
Mr. Kayode, 29, until his arrest, was serving as a Personal Assistant to the Commandant, NSCDC in the Oyo State Command, the police said.
“The suspect (Mr. Kayode) took undue advantage of his office to obtain the GSM number and location of their would-be victim. He hatched the plan on how to kidnap the business magnate to make a demand of one billion naira ransom.”
The police said the third suspect, Ayodele Temitayo, from Ibadan, Oyo State, who is the marksman and armourer of the gang, claimed to have been dismissed in 2015 from 213 Battalion Maiduguri of Nigeria Army as a Private.
“All the suspects made confessional statements revealing that they had successfully carried out several high profile kidnappings and two AK47 rifles loaded with live ammunition were recovered from them,” the statement said.
“While efforts are currently being intensified to apprehend other members of the gang and extend investigation to their other criminal enterprise, the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris wishes to restate the commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to clamp down on all criminal activities across the country and reassures law abiding citizens that criminal elements would be eventually apprehended and charged to court.
“The IGP urges Nigerians to avail the Police with relevant information that will help in the crusade against crime, as such information would be treated with utmost confidentiality,” the police said.