Kidnappers of ex-minister, lawmaker arrested

The apprehended kidnappers of three female students of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, Ikorodu being paraded by the Police, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Sunday, March 06, 2016.

The Nigeria Police on Monday said all the members of a kidnap gang that abducted a former minister of state for foreign affairs, Bagudu Hirse, have been arrested.

In a statement by its spokespersons, Don Awunah, the police said the gang which operates mainly in Kaduna and other neighbouring states, was arrested based on intelligence gathered and surveillance which led to the arrest of Dominic Nwakpa, the gang’s leader on January 1, 2017.

Mr. Hirse was kidnapped in Kaduna on November 20, 2016 and regained his on November 26, 2016, five days after he was kidnapped.

PREMIUM TIMES reported Mr. Hirse’s kidnap, although his guest and nephew to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mamman Daura, was believed to be the target.

Mr. Awunah explained that other members of the 7-man gang which includes a dismissed police officer were subsequently arrested at their various hideouts.

All the suspects were paraded by the police.

The police gave the names of the suspects to include Dominic Nwakpa (gang leader), Ifeanyi Chukwu (2nd in command of the gang) and Balat Paul (gang driver).

Others are Ibrahim Samuel; Jatau Peter, a dismissed police officer; Clinton Abere; and Afini Paul, younger sister to the driver of the gang and also owner of the house where kidnapped victims were kept.

Mr. Awunah said the police recovered firearms, ammunition, military and police uniforms and two operational vehicles from the kidnappers.

The Police said the suspects volunteered confessional statements admitting they kidnapped Mr. Hirse and collected ransom before he was released.

“The same gang confessed to the kidnap of Dr. Abdulmalik Durunguwa and his wife in their residence at different intervals in Kaduna. Ransom was also collected by the gang from the family of the victims before they were released.

“A Member of Kaduna State House of Assembly Hon. Ibrahim Samaila was also kidnapped by the gang on 26/8/2016 at Abakpa area of Kaduna State and undisclosed ransom money was collected by the gang before his release,” the police said.

Mr. Awunah said one of the suspects, Mr. Abere, was trailed and arrested in a hotel in Lagos after jumping out of the window of his hotel room on sighting police officers.

Mr. Abere is currently receiving treatment at a police hospital from injury he sustained while trying to evade arrest, he said

The spokesperson said all seven suspects have admitted their roles in the crimes and will be arraigned in court at the end of investigation.

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