In a significant breakthrough, the police announced on Saturday that they successfully thwarted kidnapping plans by certain gangs targeting students and citizens in Niger State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Force Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, revealed during a media briefing in Abuja that three members of these criminal gangs have been apprehended.
According to Adejobi, the arrests took place on January 17, following credible intelligence gathered by the Intelligence Response Team (IRT). The IRT received information on January 15 that a GSM number under surveillance, linked to one of the suspects, was used to communicate a kidnapping plan to another number.
During this GSM conversation, the suspect not only informed the recipient about the imminent kidnap operation but also mentioned inviting other kidnapping gangs to join forces. Additionally, the suspect contacted a gang member, revealing that a civil servant in their custody was wealthy, and he demanded a minimum ransom of N50 million for the victim’s release.
Adejobi stated that the investigation revealed the suspects’ involvement in several kidnapping operations in the FCT, including incidents in the Bwari axis. Efforts are underway to rescue the victims and apprehend other members of the gang.
In a separate incident, the police arrested a suspect on Thursday in Kaduna for armed robbery and kidnapping. The arrest followed a report of a man being abducted by four armed individuals from his house in Abuja and driven away in his Hilux van.
The armed men, who blocked their victim with a Mercedes Benz car, were intercepted by police operatives at a filling station in Kaduna. Three of them managed to escape, while one was arrested, and the Hilux van was recovered. The victim was en route to Kano, but the criminals stopped in Kaduna, where they seized his ATM cards and transferred N500,000 from his account.
Adejobi clarified that two of the armed men were based in Abuja. Notably, the arrested suspect and his accomplices had been previously apprehended in November 2023 but were granted bail by an FCT High Court.
Adejobi took the opportunity to address misinformation circulating on social media, denying claims that the police shot the suspected kidnapper to cover up the investigation. He emphasized the transparency of the Special Intelligence Squad (SIS) and the commitment to truth in handling cases of this nature.