Police parade cleric, three others for kidnapping

Murder suspect arrested after five months on the run

A cleric, Jimoh Omotayo, was on Tuesday paraded by the Zone XI Command of the Nigeria Police Force alongside three others for kidnapping.

Omotayo, 32, was paraded alongside Abdullahi Budah, Umaru Ahmed and one Babatunde for allegedly conspiring to abduct a 46-year-old man, Salihu Ahmed, on his farm in Agbeye.

According to the police, the victim was taken to a forest in Ikare Akoko in Ondo State.

Parading the suspects, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone XI Command, Mr Leye Oyebade, explained that the gang, led by Omotayo, abducted the 46-year-old on February 26, 2019.

“The gang members, numbering about five, were armed with locally-made single-barrelled guns. They held the vicitm captive for 17 days.

“The suspects were forced to release him without collecting the N3m ransom earlier demanded following an aggressive manhunt for them by police operatives.

“Despite releasing the victim, the Zonal Technical Intelligence Response Unit, led by SP Idowu Fapojuwo, was mandated to arrest the suspects. After a painstaking investigation was carried out by a team of crack detectives from the unit, three members of the gang were nabbed at their hideouts in the state.

Read also: Suspect narrates how two BDC operators were killed

“Upon the arrest, the kingpin confessed to the crime and identified Abdullahi Budah (52), Umaru Ahmed (35), Babatunde (surname unknown), and one other as members of the gang who perpetrated the act,” Oyebade said

Omotayo however claimed that he turned himself in when the police called him on his telephone line, adding that he was not initially part of the kidnap, but was called by a member of the gang after Ahmed was abducted.

He also admitted that he followed the gang to Ondo State where the victim was kept, but returned to Osun State after spending one day with them.

Responding to a question on why he did not notify the police of the kidnap, Omotayo said he reported it to the leadership of Myetti Allah in Okuku.

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Timothy Enietan-Matthews

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