One of the suspected arrowheads of the kidnap syndicate terrorising Ekiti State in recent time, Bunmi Ogunremi said he was involved in three high-profile kidnapping operations in the state, since January where he received a share of N1.5 million from the ransom collected from the victims’ families.

Ogunremi who was arrested alongside two other members of the gang by the operatives of the state police command spoke when they were paraded on Tuesday in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital by the command’s spokesman, ASP Sunday Abutu.

He revealed that he was contacted by one Samuel who is still at large in January this year to join the team and he was engaged especially to drive the victims from their homes in Ado-Ekiti to a forest in Kogi State.

According to him, he was involved in the abduction of a petrol dealer, Suleiman Akinbami in January; wife of a retired surveyor-general of the state, Mrs Funmilola Osalusi in March; elder statesman Chief Abiodun Ajayi, who died as a result of injuries sustained during the kidnap and one Mrs Idowu Oladeinde all in the state capital.

He added that since he started the criminal business, the gang’s tentacles had spread to the neighbouring states of Osun, Kogi, and Ondo states.

Ogunremi said, “When we started in January my duty was to drive those victims to a forest in Kogi and even a building in Ado-Ekiti and return home. I have only been involved in three kidnap operations and I received N600,000, N250,000, and N600,000 from the ransom collected.”

On his part, the tire vulcanizer, Ige Adu who is from Ikere-Ekiti, said he was the one who identified Akinbami and Mrs Osalusi when the operation was about to be carried out, saying he had made over N550,000 being compensation given on the kidnap.

“I was the one who identified Alhaji Akinbami for the gang. I also gave relevant information on the kidnap of Mrs Osalusi. I was given N100,000 on Akinbami’s abduction while I received N450,000 for the second operation. I have made a total of N550,000 from the operations I was involved.”

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) ASP Sunday Abutu said the alleged culprits were nabbed on November 6, 2021, by operatives of Rapid Response Squad(RRS), based on a thorough investigation and tips from members of the public.

Abutu said: “During interrogation, the suspects confessed to be responsible for the kidnapping of the high profile individuals in the state recently. The suspects said they usually keep their victims in his father’s house, one late Chief Bafon, located at Water Works, Ado-Ekiti, and sometimes move them to Ayere Forest in Kogi State before demanding ransom.”

“They also mentioned Samuel Ebira, Jimoh Dele known as Dele Petim, Dayo Igwe, and Johnson Okada, who are presently at large as other members of their gang. Concerted efforts led to the arrest of one Taiwo Fayoke, who confessed to being their food supplier whenever victims are held, hostage.”

For the quick arrest of other criminal gangs who had bolted and are now at large, the command placed N5 million bounty on the fugitives as a reward for anyone who supplies credible information concerning their whereabouts.

@ Nigerian Tribune

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