By Joseph Edeh
The Nigeria Police Force on Monday said it had arrested nine suspected kidnappers of CBN governor’s wife, Mrs Margaret Emefiele.
The suspects included two serving soldiers of the Nigerian Army attached to a fighting regiment in Maiduguri, Lance Corporal Musa Maidabra, 28 and Lance corporal Edwin George. Others are Ernest Uduefe, 32, and Mohammed Abubakar, 29, gang leader.
Mohammed Musa, 26, Mohammed Sule, 26, Ibrahim Abdullahi, 30, Aliyu Musa, 30 and Mohammed Yusuf, 36 are members of the gang. They had collected N80 million as ransom.
Parading the suspects before newsmen in Abuja, the Force Spokesman, Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Don Awunah, said the suspects had confessed the various roles they played in the crime.
He said items recovered from them included N14,725,000, three vehicles (two Honda cars and an Audi car) and one AK 47 magazine and two cartridges.
Awunah said that the suspects received various sums of money as part of their share of the ransom paid.
He added that part of the money and cars bought with the money were recovered by the police from the suspects.
The spokesman said that the police would continue to limit the capacity of kidnappers and other criminals by deploying adequate manpower.
He said that activities of kidnappers would be successfully checked through the cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders.
Awunah said that money or ransom was sometimes used as bait or bargain to save the lives of victims of crime.
“It is also absolutely important to mention that the police do not and will not encourage payment of ransom.
“Relatives of victims of kidnap are strongly advised to exercise considerable caution to succumb in payment of ransom,” he said.
He said that the Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr Ibrahim Idris, was committed to ensuring that all forms of crime were checked throughout the country.
“The I-G is determined to make sure that all those who are engaged in kidnapping and armed criminal activities will not escape justice,” he said.
He said that Idris had ordered the Intelligence Response Team ( IRT) and other tactical teams to swing into action to rescue Mrs Emefiele unhurt.
Mrs Emefiele was kidnapped with her three aides on Sept. 29 at Oquneki hills along Benin-Agbor road in Delta.