Kogi demolishes home of alleged kidnap kingpin

The Kogi State Government on Thursday crushed a compound allegedly owned by suspected leader of an interstate kidnap syndicate, Zakari Yau.

A statement from Governor Yahaya Bello’s office said he ordered the demolition of the premises located in Odu, in the state’s countryside.

Petra Onyegbule, Mr. Bello’s chief press secretary, said the property, which had allegedly served as criminal hideouts for years, had at least 12 gates leading into it.

The destruction comes six months after Mr. Yau, 30, was arrested by the police, alongside other suspected members of his ring, during a raid of the compound.

Apart from Kogi, they were accused of also terrorising residents in several states across the north-central, including Benue, Nasarawa and Niger.

The demolition of Mr. Yau’s alleged property was part of an ongoing exercise aimed at smashing all suspected criminal hideouts in the state. Similar hideouts hard been torn down in other parts of the state, including Okenne, the statement said.

Mr. Bello gave all suspected criminals across the state until April 20, 2017 to hand in their arms and ammunition and embrace an ongoing amnesty exercise.

The statement said the demolition was carried out in accordance with the state’s Anti-Kidnapping, Robbery and Terrorism Act signed by the immediate past governor, Idris Wada.

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Samuel Ogundipe is a general assignment reporter at PREMIUM TIMES. At various times, he has covered the Presidency, National Assembly and Defence.

Twitter: @SamuelOgundipe

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