Herders Arrested Over Kidnapping Of 4 Persons  In Rivers

The Rivers State Police Command says an intensive operation conducted by the Police has resulted in the successful arrest of five individuals suspected to be involved in various criminal activities, including kidnapping and cultism.

A statement by the spokesperson for the command, SP Grace Iringe Koko disclosed that investigation was initiated following a report made by the management of Lujo Heights Homes on January 19, 2024.

SP Koko stated that the report detailed the disappearance of four staff members during a routine property inspection in Okocha Community, Igbo-Etche, Etche Local Government Area, despite repeated attempts to establish contact, there was no response from the missing individuals.

The Police image maker said through intelligence-gathering efforts, the police apprehended four suspects identified as Yahaya Bello, Aliyu Usman, Sule Abubakar, and Abdullahi Adamu. During questioning, the suspects, reportedly confessed to their involvement in the abduction of the victims, as well as the subsequent destruction of the Toyota Sequoia SUV they were traveling in.

The Police Public Relations Officer explained that the victims, who endured a harrowing ordeal in the forests of Etche, recounted being subjected to inhumane treatment and constant threats of death unless a ransom of N300,000,000 was paid for their release.

“Investigations revealed that these individuals are part of a criminal network predominantly comprised Fulani individuals operating under the guise of cattle rearers, who have been engaged in a series of kidnappings across Rivers, Delta, and Edo states. In Port Harcourt, they had taken up residence in Valley Decision Estate, where they deceitfully convinced the community to grant them access to the land, purportedly for protection against land grabbers.

“Aliyu Usman, 33, from Kebbi State, emerged as a central figure in the criminal operations. He had been working as a security guard in Valley Decision Estate, Rumukwurushi, facilitating the infiltration of criminals. Aliyu has a previous history of involvement in armed robbery.

She said “Sule Abubakar, 25,  was brought into the gang by Aliyu with the aim of strengthening their criminal activities in Port Harcourt. During interrogation, Sule confessed to his participation in his first kidnapping assignment in Edo State, alongside his elder brother who is currently at large.

“Abdullahi Adamu, aged 20 from Taraba State, had recently arrived in Port Harcourt and was undergoing training in criminal operations under the guidance of Aliyu.

“Furthermore, Mallam Yahaya, who had been supplying food to the captors, was also apprehended. He admitted to receiving a sum of N470,000 as his share of the ransom.

“During the operations, the police were able to recover two locally-made pistols, two smart phones, and a black Toyota Sequoia belonging to the gang. Investigations are currently underway to apprehend other members of the criminal network who are still at large”

In a separate operation, the Anti-Cultism Unit of Rivers State Police Command, arrested a notorious cultist and kidnapper known as Godfrey Odum implicated in the abduction of Precious Chukwu, a student of Elechi Amadi Polytechnic.

SP Koko stated that the victim was eventually released after being robbed of her belongings. Godfrey has confessed to the crime and has provided crucial information regarding the identities of other gang members involved.

The Commissioner of Police, Tunji Disu, commended for the outstanding efforts of the officers of Rivers State Police Command in combating crime and ensuring the safety of residents. He advised residents to be careful when hiring security personnel and reiterated the command’s unwavering commitment to rid the state of criminal elements.

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