Killers of US-based hotelier, Lagos-Ibadan highway kidnappers arrested

The Oyo State Police Command paraded 13 suspects on Thursday, including three men accused of murdering a hotelier in the United States, Gbenga Owolabi, and Rachael Opadele, a final-year student at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.

The suspects included the murderers of a police inspector and the kidnappers of a former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Professor Adigun Agbaje, on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, according to the Commissioner of Police, Adebowale Williams, who paraded them at the command headquarters in Eleyele, Ibadan.Information Guide Nigeria

Adewale Osifeso, the state Police Public Relations Officer, said the suspects were apprehended in various locations throughout Oyo and Kwara states.

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He claimed that the accused killers of the late hotelier were apprehended while attempting to collect a N10.7m ransom from the family of another victim, Waheed Hammed.

He said, “A cattle dealer in Ogbomoso town, while returning from his ranch at Adafila village, via Ogbomoso, was intercepted at a desolate spot by a notorious kidnapping syndicate that had been terrorising members of the public in Ogbomoso and its neighbouring towns.

“The members of this dreaded kidnapping syndicate, who were reportedly armed with AK-47 rifles, cutlasses and some other weapons, attacked the said Waheed Hammed and later whisked him away into a thick forest, where they contacted his relative and demanded N100m ransom before he would be released.NYSC portal

“Sequel to this directive, operatives attached to the monitoring unit swung into action and in the process of combing the thick forest alongside local hunters and vigilantes, they stumbled upon where the victim was held captive and rescued him unhurt.

“The victim during debrief narrated his ordeal in the hands of his abductors and explained that while the kidnappers were negotiating his ransom, they claimed responsibility for the death of an Ogbomosho hotelier, Gbenga Owolabi (now deceased) and that he (the abductee) would suffer a similar fate should his ransom payment process get thwarted by the police.”

“On October 28, 2022, at 5pm, members of a kidnap syndicate who were purportedly armed with AK-47 rifles and several other sophisticated guns ambushed and kidnapped the don and seven other persons who were travelling along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,” the CP added.JAMB portal

“The dare-devil gunmen equally attacked a team of policemen heeding the distress call in a bid to rescue trapped victims on the highway; this in turn led to the death of an inspector of police who paid the supreme price in a fierce gun duel.

“The kidnappers later whisked the victims away to an unknown destination through the thick forest along the said Ibadan-Lagos Expressway, while their relatives were contacted for monetary demands in exchange for their liberty.JAMB Result

“Consequent upon the above, the command, in a technological intelligence-aided operation, with necessary support from Amotekun and other communal partners, apprehended the suspects, including commercial motorcyclists and couriers for the kidnap syndicate while retrieving ‘exchange money’ for other members of the syndicate around Ojoo area, Ibadan.”

He claimed that the money acquired from the victims was afterwards transferred to the bank accounts of the three more accused for distribution to other members of the conspiracy.

Osifeso also stated that a manhunt for additional members of the gang had begun.

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