Chris Steven, Abuja
The Police headquarters on Monday paraded suspected kidnappers describing them as a criminal gang of vicious kidnappers comprising of seven members who have been terrorising Kaduna and other contiguous cities.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Don Awunah said their arrest followed coordinated operation based on intelligence gathered and painstaking surveillance of notorious kidnap for ransom criminal gangs in Kaduna and other contiguous States.
The suspects were responsible for the kidnapping of the former Minister of State for foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bagudu Hirse on November 20, 2016 in GRA, Kaduna and collected ransom before he was released.
The, arrest he said was carried out by the reorganized, refocused and equipped the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, (IRT).
According to him, the kidnappers were arrested with some firearms, ammunition, military and police uniforms and two operational vehicles.
The suspects were Dominic Nwakpa aka Alhaji – Gang leader , Ifeanyi Chukwu , 2nd in command of the gang, Balat Paul. Driver of the gang, Ibrahim Samuel aka IB . Others were Jatau Peter, a dismissed Police man, Afini Paul ,younger sister to the driver of the gang and also owner of the house where kidnapped victims were kept and Clinton Abere.
Two English made Pump Action guns, 131 rounds of AK 47 ammunition, Police Camouflage uniform and two Military face caps , two Operational vehicles and pne hand set phone – used for negotiation and collection of ransom were recovered from them.
Other items were a red face mask, anti car tracking device and one black criminal charm jacket.
On the 1st January, 2017 at about 1130hrs operatives attached to the IGP Intelligence Response Team (IRT) after a sustained surveillance, smashed the vicious and very notorious kidnap for ransom gang that have been terrorizing Kaduna and neighbouring States, responsible for the kidnap of several important personalities in the recent past.
The gang was smashed with the arrest of DOMINIC NWAKPA A.K.A ALHAJI, who is the gang leader, in Lagos state, while four other principal suspects and members of the gang, namely Balat Paul, driver of the gang, Ibrahim Samuel aka “IB” and Jatau Peter – a dismissed Policeman were arrested on the 1st January, 2017 in their hideouts at Dan Hassan Road Ungwa Boro Kaduna, while Afini Paul, a female member who cooks for the gang and the victims, rented the house at Yusuf Patrick close, Mararaba Rido, Kaduna where victims are kept before ransom money is collected, was arrested at their hideout in Kaduna. Ifeanyi Chukwu the 2nd in command of the gang was arrested in a Hotel in Agbor Hill, area of Abia State.
He confessed to be the second in command of the gang that kidnapped the Ambassador and so many other kidnappings within and outside Kaduna, Abia, Imo, Rivers, and Delta States. 2. The suspects upon interrogation volunteered confessional statements admitting that they are the criminal gang that kidnapped the former Minister of State for foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bagudu Hirse on 20th November, 2016 in GRA, Kaduna 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 an undisclosedd ransom money was collected by the gang before his release.” Awunah disclosed in the statement