…’we demanded $30m to free Buhari’s district head’
Grenades, explosive chemicals, assorted arms recovered
Suspected kidnappers arrested for the abduction of the District Head of Daura in Katsina State, Alhaji Musa Umar, said they were trained in Libya. Two other suspects said they were trained in Libya on ambush operation, dismantling of AK47 rifle, as well as disarming security operatives. In his confession, the gang leader, Abdullah Mohammed, a native of Kano, said: “I was among the gang members that did the video and negotiation for the ransom.
We have carried out two kidnappings before this one involving the district head of Daura. “Before our arrest, two of us involved in this case had undergone training in Libya that lasted one and a half years.
We were trained on how we can fire AK47 rifles, how we can disarm security agents holding AK47 rifles, how we can lay ambush for security operatives.” The suspects also said they demanded $30 million to release the district head.
They, however, regretted that the ransom was not paid before they were arrested by the special police forces drawn from the Inspector General of Police (IG) Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Special Tactical Squad (STS), and Operation Puff Adder.
The Daura monarch, who is President Muhammadu Buhari’s in-law, was released on July 2, exactly two months after his abduction. The police yesterday presented 13 of the suspects arrested in connection with the Magajin Daura’s abduction. Apart from Umar’s abductors, the police also presented 27 other suspects linked to kidnapping, banditry, cattle rustling, and gunrunning in parts of the country.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, who showed the suspects to journalists on the premises of the STS in Abuja, said crimes hardly occurred without collaborators from within the location. One of the suspects, Yusuf Dahiru, who revealed the $30 million ransom demand, said their aim was to make money. He said: “We took Magajin Garin Daura in order to make money. We placed him on ransom of $30 million.
But no ransom was paid before we were arrested. “We have our master who led us to kidnap the district head of Daura. My master got the job and sent me to go to Daura to kidnap the monarch. “My work is only kidnapping.
Four of us went to kidnap the royal father. One of our gang members is from Daura; he was the one who led us in the operation because he knows the area very well. He was the one that led us to the area and he was the one who held the district head for 60 days and took good care of him and gave him everything that he needed. We did not molest him.” Another suspect, Bilial Yusuf, told journalists that he was the one who negotiated for the ransom.
He said: “I was told by the gang leader, Abdullah Mohammed, to ask for $30 million. “But we were not given any money before we were arrested. I am the owner of the Peugeot 406 that was used in the kidnap.”
Mba disclosed that out of the 13 sus-pects linked to the Daura kidnap incident, five of them were from Katsina State. The FPRO added that four of the five were from the ancient city of Daura, while two were found to be from Kano State, where the traditional ruler was rescued.
He said: “A total of 40 male suspects have been indicted for their roles in crimes bordering on kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling, murder and unlawful possession of firearms. “Out of the 40 suspects, 13 of them are directly linked with the heinous crime touching on the kidnap of the Magajin Daura, who was kidnapped and held incommunicado for several weeks.
From analysis of the 13 suspects who were indicted for the kidnap of the district head of Daura, we discovered that these suspects consist of persons of diverse states of the federation and diverse backgrounds.
“They are all suspects that you can described as fallen within an active age bracket, with an average age of 30. The oldest is 46 and the youngest among them who incidentally played a key role is 20 years old.
“Thirdly, we also discovered in the course of our investigation that there are external collaborators. As a matter of fact, one of the suspects, Mustapha Zakaria, aged 32, is from Niger Republic. “And finally, we also discovered that the crime, just like other crimes, was powered essentially by local criminals and local collaborators.” Mba said the lesson to be drawn from the analysis was that the police must work with other law enforcement agencies to keep Nigeria safe.
He added: “You could see clearly that it would have been near impossible for any other criminal gang to have perfected these acts, clinically executed them the way these guys did without the active connivance, collaboration and support of other gang members who are from Daura. “In the same vein, it would also have been near impossible for the gang members to have kept this elder statesman in Kano for this long without criminal elements who know and understand the terrain of Kano.
“The import of this is that for any crime that has been committed or being committed, there are local collaborators and this is where the concept of community policing comes into play and that explains why the President of this country has clearly given us a marching order to begin to implement the concept of community policing and also explains why the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, is pursuing the full implementation of community policing across the country with unalloyed vigour.” The FPRO appealed to the public to ensure that they knew who their neighbours were.
He said: “In addition to the suspects we have before you, we recovered a total of nine AK47 rifles within this period under review and six other weapons of assorted made. “We also have a total of 383 rounds of different ammunition of different calibres, particularly ammunition for the AK47 rifles. “It may also interest you to know that during the operation that led to the rescue of the district head of Daura, we also recovered cache of chemicals used for producing explosives.
“We also recovered three hand grenades. These are grenades of military calibre, these are not smoke grenades; they are not teargas grenades. These are real hand grenades capable of taking down an entire structure. The explosive chemicals are the ones that must not be exposed unduly to harsh elements.”