Two suspected members of a notorious kidnap gang in Kaduna arrested by the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have given chilling details on their operations.
The suspects, Salisu Abdullahi, 28, and Babangida Usman who confessed to have participated in about six kidnapping operations, including that of a priest, Fr. Tony Bawa, said they also killed one of their victims, Chinedu, after collecting N500,000 ransom because he fought with one of them.
The suspects, who were paraded on Tuesday by police spokesman, Frank Mba, a Commissioner of Police (CP), at the IRT’s office in Abuja, admitted belonging to a daredevil gang that terrorised Kushemakaranta, Rafinkinba, Kuditlri, Kwei, along Nasarawa Express Road and Kurumikari areas of Kaduna State.
Abdullahi, who said he joined the gang voluntarily about a year ago, claimed he was a farmer and cattle rustler before he took to kidnapping.
A married man with three children, Abdullahi said he opted for kidnapping because it brought in more money, which he needed to womanise and buy alcoholic beverages.
Giving details of the gang’s operations he partook in, Abdullahi said their leader usually gave them information on who to go after, and gave orders on whom to kill or spare after ransom.
“He was alone in the house and didn’t struggle with us. We took him to the bush and only released him after we collected one million naira ransom.
“The second reverend father (Tony Bawa) was also taken from his house and we kept him in the bush for two weeks until his people paid N8 million ransom.
“It is not up to a year I joined the gang. I was not forced into kidnapping, I joined by myself. I was into farming and cattle rustling before I joined kidnap gang.
“I am married with three children. I have no father or mother.
“I have participated in six operations and I made N800,000 from them.
I used the money to drink and carry women. Nobody knows I am a kidnapper in the community.
“My role in the gang is a watchman. I watch over kidnapped victims in the bush until ransom is paid for their release.
“Our leader surveys the area for prominent persons. He also gathers intelligence on victims after which he informs us on the victim to kidnap.
“One of the suspects we kidnapped was killed after N500,000 ransom was paid. He spent three days in our custody and he lived in the same area with our leader. His name is Chinedu, a businessman, and we kidnapped him from his house.
“He was killed after the ransom because he fought with one of us. Our leader asked us to kill him. He was the first person I joined them to kidnap.
“The second person was also named Chinedu, a trader. He was riding his motorbike to Kagaruko when our leader called us on the phone to give us a hint on his route.
“Our leader rode his motorbike behind Chinedu and gave us information on where he was and where we would strike.
“We abducted and took him to the bush, collected N700,000 from him and he was released.
“I do not know the name of the third victim, but we collected N700,000 from him as well. He was lured out of the market.
“He trades in ginger, so we told him we had ginger in the farm for sale and he volunteered to follow us, not knowing it was a trap.
“On the way to the farm, he was kidnapped and made to pay N700,000 ransom.
“The priest who paid N1m was the fourth victim, and the one whose people paid N8 million was the fifth. The sixth victim was picked from the farm. We collected N300,000.”
Usman who said he made N600,000 from being a kidnapper, said his role was to guard victims.
He said the gang did not kidnap women because they were the ones to go source for the money to pay in order to free their husbands.