The police have arrested an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Kayode Adeyemi, a dismissed soldier, Ayodele Ibitayo, and one Ikechukwu Daniel for alleged kidnapping in Oyo and Ogun states.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the three suspects were arrested by the operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, Abuja.
Our correspondent gathered that the gang members were arrested by the police from their different hideouts last week.
According to the police, the gang had allegedly organised several kidnap operations in the past three months, including the abduction of Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, a former Minister of State for Education.
The NSCDC official, 29-year-old Adeyemi, however, told the police that he did not follow the gang for kidnap operations, but provided them with contacts of victims.
He added that he got N200,000 as share in one of the operations.
He said, “I am an inspector of the NSCDC and I was enlisted in 2009. I serve currently in Ibadan, Oyo State Command. I met one Alex in February this year and we became friends. He told me he was a contractor and needed contacts to get jobs.
“One of the people I released their contacts to Alex was Femi Otedola, the oil magnate. I also took Alex and his gang members to one Baba Olokuta, who lived in Moniya, Ibadan. I took them to the man’s house, and after few days, he was kidnapped.
“Ransom was paid before he was released, and I was given N200,000 as my share.”
Another suspect, Ibitayo, also from Ibadan, Oyo State, said, “I joined the Nigerian army in 2013, serving in the 213 Battalion in Adamawa State. But I was part of the 3,500 soldiers that were dismissed by the government. I joined the gang in December 2015. One Daniel Ikechukwu, popularly known as Ike, introduced me to members of the gang.
“We kidnapped a man in the Bodija area, and I was given N200,000 as my share.
“In the second operation, we went with two AK-47 rifles and we kidnapped a woman. Ike drove the vehicle and I put on my uniform to intimidate policemen. The woman paid N3m as ransom.”
The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Don Awunah, said the police were making efforts to arrest fleeing members of the gang.
He said, “The arrest was achieved after several weeks of intelligence gathering and deployment of investigative tools. The principal suspect, Daniel, was rusticated from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, due to cult-related activities in 2010. He was the Information Technology brain behind the gang.
“The second suspect, Adeyemi, is a serving official of the NSCDC and a native of Ibadan, Oyo State. He was the one who allegedly got the phone numbers of their victims. The third suspect was the armourer of the gang. They have all made confessional statements. The police recovered two AK-47 rifles from them and some live ammunition.”