Two Vigilante Officers, Six Other Suspects Paraded Over Ekiti Pupils’ Kidnap

Eight suspected kidnappers, including two vigilante officers involved in the abduction of pupils of Apostolic Faith Groups of School, Emure Local Government and other kidnapping cases were on Friday paraded by the Ekiti State Police Command.

State Commissioner of Police, Adeniran Akinwale, while addressing journalists on Friday in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State capital, said the breakthrough was made possible through the dogged effort of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) officers in the state.

The vigilante officers, identified as Saliu Ibrahim, Umaru Saliu, and six other suspects according to the CP, were arrested after RRS received a credible tip-off that a gang of armed men invaded farmland at Eda-Oniyo-Ekiti and were planning to kidnap some expatriates in Dairy Farmland, Ikun-Ekiti.

This led to the arrest of one Abubakar Aliyu, popularly known as Smallie, who was on a mission to spy on the actual location of the expatriates.

He further stated the leader of the kidnapping gang, identified as Sumo Karami, sent the two officers to secure the bail of the arrested gang member from police custody.

They were, however, arrested and led the RRS operatives to Oro-Ago town, where one Mohammed Bashiru, the leader of Miyetti Allah vigilantes in Oro-Ago, Kwara State, was arrested.

A statement by the Police PRO, DSP Sunday Abutu, added, “During interrogation, Mohammed Bashiru revealed that he is a relative of Sumo Karami, who is the leader of a dreaded kidnapping gang, and that Abubakar Aliyu, a.k.a. Smallie, is one his gang members who have been terrorising and kidnapping innocent citizens with AK47 rifles and other dangerous weapons.

“Initial investigation revealed that Sumo Karami and his gang members were responsible for the kidnapping of the pupils and their teachers in Emure-Ekiti on 29th January 2024.

“Meanwhile, the phone used to demand for ransom for the release of the pupils and the teachers was recovered from the suspects and effort intensified, and led to the arrest of two (2) gang members, namely: Yahaya Jubril and Usman Garba, in Owo Forest, Ondo State.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of one Kenneth Ugwu in Ibadan, Oyo State, on 14/02/2024. The suspect, during interrogation, confessed to being a member of a kidnapping syndicate that kidnapped five pupils, three (3) teachers, and a driver in Emure-Ekiti who was allegedly killed by the kidnappers.

“The suspect led a team of RRS operatives to the kidnapper’s hideout inside Agric Reserved Forest between Ise-Ekiti/Emure-Ekiti. On sighting the police, the armed hoodlums engaged the team in a gun duel.

“In the process, one of the gang members who was later identified as Ayuba was neutralized, one Abubakar Mohammed, a.k.a. Smallie, was captured alive while other gang members escaped through the forest.

“Investigation revealed that the syndicate was responsible for the kidnapping of one Paul Omotosho, the APC Chairman, Ekiti State, along Agbado/Imesi, Ekiti road on 08/07/2023, the kidnapping of Mr and Mrs Awoniyi along Ikere/Itaogbolu road in the month of January this year; and the kidnapping of teachers and pupils of Apostolic Faith Secondary School, Emure-Ekiti, on 29th January 2024.”

Exhibits recovered were: 1 AK-47 assorted rifle, 1 pump action gun loaded with five live cartridges, 21 AK-47 live ammunition, expended shells of AK-47 ammunition.

Others are 1 face mask, 1 nose mask, 2 pairs of hand gloves, 20 mobile phones, 1 national ID card bearing Salisu Muhammed, 2 MTN SIM cards, and 1 Airtel sim card.

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