The Oyo State Police Command has arrested ten (10) suspected members of a kidnapping syndicate terrorizing Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Commuters have been kidnapped and attacked several times along the busy highway.
Prof. Adigun Agbaje, a former Deputy Vice-chancellor (academics) of the University of Ibadan (UI), two students of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, and others were abducted on October 28 by kidnappers in military uniform.
Parading the suspects at the Command headquarters, Eleyele, Ibadan, on Thursday, December 22, spokesman of the command, Adewale Osifeso, said the suspects attacked a team of policemen heeding a distress call to rescue abducted persons. An inspector was killed in the shootout with the kidnappers.
Osifeso said the suspected kidnappers had taken their victims away to an unknown destination through the thick forest along the expressway. They had also contacted relatives for ransom.
“In one of the most coordinated reconnaissance operations in the history of the Command, all operational, tactical, and intelligence assets were collapsed and fused as one to attain the goal of the immediate rescue of the abductees unhurt and the apprehension of their abductors for prosecution”, the spokesperson said.
“The Oyo State Police Command, in a technological intelligence-aided operation, and with necessary support from Amotekun (the Oyo State Security Network) and other community partners, apprehended the duo of Babangida Buhari Awalu and Kabiru Aliyu.
“Both are commercial motorcyclists and couriers for the kidnap syndicate. They were arrested while retrieving ‘exchange money’ for other members of the syndicate around Ojoo Area, Ibadan. Further detailed and painstaking investigations led to the arrest of five members of the criminal gang.
“Three additional suspects gave their names as Adewuyi Sunday, Ayanwola Gbenga and Rafiu Abdulmajeed from the Gbugbu area of Kwara State and Ago-Are in Oyo State respectively.
“It was also discovered that monies received from the victims were moved into the bank accounts of these three additional suspects for onward distribution to other members of the kidnapping syndicate.”
N7.5 million, four AK-47 rifles, 75 AK-47 live ammunition, two pairs of military camouflage and one police beret were among the items recovered from the suspects, according to our correspondents.