IBADAN – The police in Oyo State on Monday paraded seven suspects linked to the kidnapping of the two-year-old twins of a popular Ibadan cleric, Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Shina Olukolu, while parading the suspects made up of six males and a female, said N2, 863,000 was also recovered from them.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the twins of the cleric were kidnapped on April 25 at gunpoint at their parent’s residence at Alphonso area, Ojoo, Ibadan, at about 8pm.
Olukolu attributed the arrest to the concerted efforts of men of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), Anti-Kidnapping Squad (AKS), other police tactical teams and the support received from the public through credible information.
“As soon as the incident was reported at Ojoo Police Station and later transferred to AKS Eleyele/SARS office, Dugbe, Ibadan, a team of AKS/SARS operatives swung into action.
” The kidnappers demanded for the sum of N50 million before the two abducted babies would be released.
“The abducted babies were, however, released unhurt eight days later after their father had parted with an alleged sum of N4 million as ransom to the hoodlums.
“I wish to inform you that all the kidnappers of the two-year old twins of Alhaji Taofeek Akewugbagold on April 25 have been arrested with a substantial part of the ransom collected.
“The gun used for the operation, the two operational vehicles and one motorcycle were also recovered from them,” Olukolu said.
The commissioner said the investigation team had embarked on a painstaking and discreet investigation that traversed several states, including Adamawa and Sokoto before the arrest.
According to him, the female member of the gang was detailed to take care of the babies while in captivity.
NAN reports that one locally made cut to size single barrel gun, eight live cartridges and one Nissan MICRA car with Reg. No. JJJ 703 BJ which was used for the criminal activity were recovered from the suspects.
Also recovered was a Nissan MICRA car with Reg. No. NRK 864 YR which was partly paid for from part of the ransom.
“The sum of N2,863,000.00, being part of the ransom, and an unregistered TVS Motorcycle which was equally used to monitor and execute the operation and buy food for the abducted babies were all recovered from the hoodlums,” he said.
The commissioner said all the suspects confessed to the crime upon interrogation and explained their individual roles in the kidnap.
Olukolu solicited the continuous support of the public in providing credible, timely and useful information to enable the police combat crimes in the state more effectively.
Speaking to NAN, one of the suspects who claimed to be Akewugbagold’s media aide, said he and another staff of the cleric masterminded the kidnap, claiming the cleric was not treating them properly.
The suspect said he planned the kidnap to get some money to take care of his needs.