Four suspected armed herdsmen have revealed to the police how they successfully unleashed terror on the lives of commuters plying Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway through armed robbery and kidnapping.
The suspects identified as Sani Mohammed, Babangida Garba, Ibrahim Dogo and Ibrahim Haruna, were arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police, Intelligence Response Team, IRT after they kidnapped a businessman, Alhaji Ulere, who sells cows at Lugbe area of Abuja .
They were alleged to have demanded a ransom of N1million from the businessman’s family and were awaiting the payment when detectives stormed their hideout and rescued the victim. Also recovered were an Ak-47 rifle and three locally made guns.
The kidnappers had threatened to kill the businessman if his relatives didn’t pay the N1million ransom, 48 hours after it was demanded. Operatives commenced investigation into the kidnap, at the time the kidnappers were demanding the N1million ransom and swiftly took over the negotiation and made the kidnappers believe that the ransom they demanded was ready and as such they were made to come out of their camp to receive the money.
One of the kidnappers, Ibrahim Dogo came out of the camp to receive the ransom, on the mountain around City Gate area of Abuja when he was arrested by the IRT operatives. He led the detectives to the camp where they found the victim, Alhaji Ulere, in shackles, while Dogo’s gang members had all absconded.
Further investigation revealed that they all ran back to their base in Enugu State. Detectives were immediately deployed to Enugu where they were all apprehended and their operational rifles recovered.
During interrogation, they told the police that they relocated to Abuja to specifically kidnap Alhaji Ulere who maltreated one of their gang members, Sani Mohammed who worked for him several years ago. Sani told his gang that he was accused of stealing a cow and disgraced out of work.
The gang also told the police uncountable cases of kidnapping and armed robbery, which they executed along Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.
According to Sani Mohammed, he decided to arrange the kidnap of his former boss in a bid to teach him a lesson. “Years back, I worked for one Alhaji who sells cows in Abuja and no matter what I did he was never satisfied. Anytime he loses a cow, he would automatically accuse me. I suffered injustice in his hands till he finally sacked me. Because I know that I am innocent, I made up my mind to deal with him whenever I get the opportunity. This was the reason why I told members of my gang to kidnap him. It was Babangida, the leader that organized the team that went to Abuja to execute the abduction. My job was to lure him out to a place where we can kidnap him with ease.
“Presenting a business proposal to him, he agreed to come to the point where we picked him up in Abuja. We kept him in a remote building surrounded by bushes.
We contacted his family and demanded for N10million but his family agreed to pay a million. We never knew that they reported to the police and they were tracking our calls. They arrested one of us known as Dogo who we had sent to collect the money. Luckily for us, we got information that Dogo had been arrested. We immediately abandoned my boss in the bush and fled.”
On his journey into the crime world, Sani said he innocently travelled down to Enugu to continue buying and selling cows only to realize that his best friend who was to accommodate him is an armed robber. “I am from Zamfara State and I had no formal education. My father is a herdsman and as expected he taught me how to be a successful cattle breeder. In 2007, I relocated to Abuja and started working for Alhaji Ulere who buys and sells cows.
“He was ungrateful and in 2016, he sacked me. I decided to join my friend Babaginda who is based in Enugu. He was very successful and when you ask him for his source of money, he will tell you that he breeds cows and sells them.
Reaching there, I discovered that my friend already had a gang that was into armed robbery and kidnapping. He persuaded me to join them.”
Sani said that he has lost count of the number of people that they had robbed or kidnapped. “I joined him and we started attacking motorists traveling on the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway. We normally block the expressway with heavy woods in the night and we will force the vehicles to stop from there we will rob all the occupants of their cash and valuables and in cases where our victims look rich; we normally kidnap such victims and take them into the bush. They will be released only when their relatives pay ransom on their behalf.”
On why a gang of Fulani boys chose to operate in Enugu State, Sani said there was no competition. “Other areas like Kogi and Kaduna are very hot. If you are not careful, your fellow kidnapper will pick you and request for ransom.
Since 2017 that I joined them, police has never arrested us and since we do not request for so much ransom, our victims’ families are always willing to pay.”
On his part, Ibrahim Haruna, confessed that he is the owner of the Ak-47 rifle and he normally receive the highest share from the gang’s loot. He claimed that he regretted taking part in the Abuja kidnapping, stressing that his gang members got him into trouble. “This is not the only gang I worked with.
There are several of them that I work with in Nigeria and Enugu State. I bought the Ak-47 rifle for N 450, 000 in Jos, Plateau State, because people with Ak-47 earn more money after each operation. It was Babaginda that invited me for this operation and after we picked the man, I didn’t know his relatives would bring in the police, while we were waiting for the ransom”, he stated.