Abutu said the sister explained that when Abimbola’s phone was called, an unknown person answered the call and informed them that she was in his custody and would not release her until a ransom of N500,000 was paid.
Luck ran against the suspects when the holder of the account given for the ransom payment was tracked and arrested by the anti-kidnapping unit of the police and forced to lead the police team to a hotel within the state capital where the supposedly abducted Abimbola and her boyfriend were nabbed.
Abimbola with the three others confessed to committing the crime, claiming she wanted to raise money from her family members to enable her relocate from Ekiti State since her mother insisted she studies medicine as against her own dream of becoming an actress.
See the police full statement below…
EKITI STATE POLICE COMMAND*
Ekiti State Police Command Arrests Four For Conspiracy And Self-kidnapping
The Ekiti State Police Command on Thursday 17th June, 2021 at about 2000hrs, arrested one *SULUKA ABIMBOLA* ‘f’ 16, alongside her boyfriend, one *OLUWASEUN DANIEL OLAJIDE* ‘m’ 25, for conspiracy and self-kidnapping.
It would be recalled that on the 16/06/2021 at about 1140hrs, one Bolaji Femi of Bawa Estate, Ado-Ekiti, came to New Iyin Divisional Police Headquarters and reported that her sister, one Suluka Abimbola left home for School at Christ School, Ado-Ekiti, on 15/06/2021 and did not return home.
She further narrated that when Suluka Abimbola’s GSM number was called, an unknown person picked and confirmed that Suluka Abimbola was in their custody but would not be released until a ransom of five hundred thousand naira is paid to a particular Union Bank Account belonging to one Adisa Damilola.
The case was immediately transferred to the Anti-kidnapping Unit of the State CID where the owner of the account, one Adisa Damilola ‘f’ who is also a friend to Oluwaseun Daniel Olajide, was tracked and arrested. Adisa Damilola led the Operatives of the Anti-kidnapping Unit to Alex Grace Hotel, along Housing, Ado-Ekiti, where Suluka Abimbola and her boyfriend, Oluwaseun Daniel Olajide, alongside one other accomplice, Adefolaju Caleb ‘m’ 23, were lodging and were arrested.
During interrogation, Suluka Abimbola confessed to the commission of the crime as well as Oluwaseun Daniel Olajide and Adefolaju Caleb. Suluka Abimbola said she decided to conspire with the other suspects to do that in order for her to raise money from her family members to enable her relocate from Ekiti State since her Mother insisted that she goes through medical field as against her dream of becoming an Actress.
The Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, CP Tunde Mobayo, condemns the act and has directed that investigation be conducted for further action to serve as a deterrent to other criminally minded persons in the Society.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the Federal Government to develop means to deal with kidnappers and bandits heavily in place of the payment of ransom.
He also stressed the need for leaders to ensure the 2023 birth emergence of a new federation in the nation, warning that the country may slide into what he described as ground dissolution.
The elder statesman made the recommendation on Wednesday when he received members of the Tiv Professionals Group (TPG) led by Professor Zacharys Gundu, at his residence within the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
“Some people are still reaching out and hoping that lives can still be saved; but a situation whereby anybody thinks paying ransom is the way out, that person is folly. He is a folly.
“This is because when you pay ransom, you encourage; but if you are not going to pay ransom, you must have the means to deal heavily with it. You must have the stick to deal with it,” Obasanjo said.
He added, “Government has always paid ransom. Not only this government, even during (Goodluck) Jonathan (administration). They paid ransom, but they denied it.”
The former president, who condemned the security challenges in the country, insisted that 2023 must mark a watershed for Nigeria.
“The year 2023 should give us the beginning of the emergence of a new federation. Feeling that the rot continues, then we are going to be sliding back to a ground dissolution. God forbid,” he said.
Getting It Right
Obasanjo decried that those beating drums of division in the country do not think about the interest of the minority ethnic groups.
He explained that the minority ethnic groups face oppression and extermination should Nigeria be allowed to break as being agitated by some people.
“I believe that if we will get it right in Nigeria, any leader must look at Nigeria with the prism of the diversity of Nigeria. For as long as you look at Nigeria with the prism of your ethnic group, then you are not going anywhere, either your ethnic group or religious group.
“But is there hope? There is hope,” the elder statesman stated.
In his remarks, Professor Gundu told informed his host that people were being maimed in their sleep and on their ancestral land, stressing the need for influential Nigerians to rise to the occasion to stem the tide of killings in the land.
“Nigeria seems to be losing the battle against insecurity,” he said while demanding full compensation for victims of killings and destruction in Tiv land.
The leader of the delegation also sought the proscription of armed Fulani groups and intensified advocacy against nomadic pastoralism.
“There are different shades of instability in the country. Nigeria is truly bleeding to death. There’s even a population fault line that could lead to the ‘Lebanon Trap’.
“All patriots must stand together; but if others have to be enslaved before the country can survive, we will prefer, as Tiv people, to take our destiny in our hands,” he said.
Gunmen, in the early hours of Tuesday, invaded Malum community, a suburb of Ardo-Kola Local Government Area of Taraba State and kidnapped Reverend Solomon Jediel.
The gunmen after whisking the preacher away contacted the family members and informed them to start saving money for his ransom.
Wife of the victim, Lucy Solomon, who narrated the sad incident to Channels Television in the native Hausa dialect explained that the kidnappers shot sporadically into the air, shattered the windows to their house and beat up every member of the family.
“We were about to sleep when my husband asked me to look through the window and then I saw the abductors. When they got closer, they flashed torchlight at us and asked my husband to come out and follow them or else they will shoot him.
“He obliged and opened the door. Then, they started beating every member of the family. They threatened to kill me and asked me to bring the money at home, I brought it and they left with the money, my husband and my daughter’s credentials.
“They later contacted my son, instructing him to start making some savings for his father’s release,” she explained.
Reverend Philip Jedian, the district superintendent of the church, reacting to the incident, said it is a case too many. He then called on the state government and security agencies to wake up to the responsibility of protection of lives and property.
Kidnapping in Taraba State is on the increase and residents are optimistic that with the commencement of operation Ayem Akpatuma peace will once again reign in the state.
Reverend Solomon’s abduction is coming five days after the state Governor Darius Ishaku disclosed that no fewer than 100 persons have been abducted within nine months in the state.
The wife of a Norwegian multi-millionaire missing for 10 weeks is believed to have been kidnapped and a large ransom has been demanded her release, local media reported on Wednesday.
Married to a businessman who made his fortune in real estate and the energy sector, 68-year-old Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik disappeared on October 31, the Verdens Gang (VG) newspaper said.
A ransom demand for nine million euros ($10.3 million) in cryptocurrency has been issued for her release, VG said.
The kidnappers have threatened to use violence against her if her family does not meet their demands, Norway’s newspaper of reference Aftenposten said, adding that there had been limited contact with the suspects.
Events like this are extremely rare in the wealthy Scandinavian country, which enjoys a generally low crime rate.
Norwegian police confirmed that “a woman in her late 60s is believed to have been kidnapped from her home in Lorenskog”, around 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Oslo, but did not disclose her identity.
Police were scheduled to hold a press conference later Wednesday.
The missing woman’s husband, Tom Hagen, 68, is Norway’s 172nd richest man, according to the magazine Kapital, with an estimated fortune of 1.7 billion kroner (174 million euros, $200 million).
A real estate investor, he owns 70 percent of electricity company Elkraft which he co-founded in 1992, Norwegian media reported.
The Federal Government has rejected a report by the United Nations, which claimed it paid a “large ransom” to secure the release of the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, denied the claim in a statement on Thursday night.
He challenged anyone with evidence of such payment to publish it.
”It is not enough to say that Nigeria paid a ransom, little or huge. There must be a conclusive evidence to support such claim. Without that, the claim remains what it is: a mere conjecture,” the Minister was quoted as saying in a statement by his Special Adviser, Segun Adeyemi.
A United Nations report submitted to the Security Council had detailed how Boko Haram was funded and indicated that the payment of ransom and the predominance of cash economy aided the terrorists.
The report, dated July 27, 2018, was called ’22nd Report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team’ and it contained information about the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant – ISIL – (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities.
Concerning the insurgency in the country, it said, “In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment.”
The Nigerian Government has, however, rejected it.
On March 21, when the girls were released, the minister had issued a statement explaining that their release was unconditional.
The kidnappers eventually contacted the family on Monday and demanded the N15million ransom to be delivered by 6:00 pm.
The police spokesperson in the state, Andrew Aniamaka had earlier confirmed the kidnap noting that police officers were already in search of the victim in a nearby bush where he is suspected to have been held hostage.
The trial of suspected kidnapper, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike popularly known as Evans continued today at the Lagos High Court Sitting in Ikeja with the testimony of the third prosecution witness, Uchenna Okeagwu.
Okeagwu explained to the court on Friday that he paid Evans the sum of £223,000 for the ransom of his boss, Donatus Duru.
While being led in evidence by the Director of Public Prosecution, Titilayo Shitta-Bey, Okeagwu said he was instructed by the kidnappers to drop the money inside a vehicle parked inside a compound somewhere around Mile 2.
“I am a manager at Maydon pharmaceutical company and have been working with them for over seven years. After we heard of the kidnap of Duru, we waited to hear from the kidnappers so we will know what to do to rescue him.
“As the manager of the Idumota branch, we worked towards raising money for the kidnappers when they asked for ransom. After about two months, I was called by Anselm Duru, Donatus’ brother to come and deliver the money to the kidnappers that they have raised £223,000.
“After counting the money, we put it in a polythene bag and wrapped it very well with sellotape and I went with the money. Anselm gave me his telephone that they would use it to direct me to where I would take the ransom to.
“I started receiving calls with the phone from the kidnappers saying I should make no mistakes that if I do, I would be shot. I was asked if I know the way towards Mile 2 and I said yes, I went with the money inside the vehicle, putting the money under the passengers’ seat in the front and I moved out of the compound towards Mile 2,” he explained.
During cross-examination, defence counsel for the first, second, third and fourth defendants, Olukoya Ogungbeje, asked if he saw anybody when he dropped the ransom or gave it to anybody directly, the witness said no.
Evans, Uche Amadi, Ogechi Uchechukwu, Okwuchukwu Nwachukwu, Chilaka Ifeanyi, and Victor Aduba are facing a two-count charge of conspiracy and kidnapping before Hakeem Oshodi, a judge of the Ikeja Division of the Lagos State High Court.
Duru was the last victim allegedly kidnapped by the group before their arrest in June last year.
Evans had initially pleaded guilty to the charge of kidnapping but later reversed his plea.
Earlier, Mr Ogungbeje had told the court that he would refrain from further cross-examining the 2nd witness, Donatus Duru, who was the victim of the kidnap.
He told the court that the witness was refusing to answer his questions but preferred instead to give answers to questions he had formulated in his mind.
In response to his statement, the judge said, “It is quite unfortunate that the legal counsel can make such statement that the witness is not answering his questions, but it is his prerogative to conduct defence as he deems fit.
Further proceedings in the matter has been adjourned till June 22.
The Delta State Police Command recently held a press briefing at the Police headquarters in Asaba where it showcased some breakthroughs recorded in delivering on its core mandate of apprehension of crime suspects.
Suspects involved in armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, homicide were all paraded but the case of a self kidnapper and adulteration of popular alcoholic drinks stood out.
One Justice Ifeanyi aged 21 years allegedly planned to kidnap himself with intent to extort money from his uncle.
According to the Police, it was revealed that he planned his own kidnap and made a ransom demand of four million naira to secure his release
The suspect confessed to the crime.
“I left Rivers for Delta state to plan my kidnap so that I can collect money from my uncle to complete my father’s house in the village.
“The gang began to threaten me when my uncle refused to pay the ransom so I had to run away.”
The Oyo Police Command has uncovered a kidnapper’s den in Ajia village on the outskirts of Ibadan under Egbeda Local Government arresting 7 people in the process that led to the rescue of a 78 year old victim.
The den was under the control of a 32 year old female who had been living as a kidnapper for about four years, peddling her inhuman trade in several parts of the country including Lagos and Port Harcourt.
Oyo State Police Commissioner Mohammed Katsina disclosed that the arrests occurred after several hours of a gun battle between the kidnappers and the police at the scene of the crime.
The police launched Hell Wind to rescue the kidnapped victim through the coordinated attack from his ambush squad, after series of investigation.
The victim, P.A. Adebowale Omotosho told journalists that he was kidnapped at his home in Awe, Afijio Local Government Area of the state 3 days after his return from U.S.
The kidnappers demanded a ransom of 1million dollars from the family, got paid 10million naira and were in the process of milking the victim’s family for more when they were apprehended.
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said it is deeply saddened by the death of its national vice chairman and former deputy governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chuddy Nwike in the hands of those who kidnapped him last month.
In a statement issued in Ibadan on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the killing after a ransom had been paid to secure his release, is the height of cruelty and represents a debasement of our collective humanity.
It prayed that God will comfort the family of the departed and strengthen them to bear this unquantifiable loss and appealed to the Federal Government to take a decisive action to end the worsening insecurity in the country.
”Dr. Nwike is the latest victim of this mindless act of kidnapping for ransom, which is fast deteriorating with the killing of innocent victims even after their families would have paid a huge ransom to secure their release.
”This senseless act has not spared anyone, high or low, male or female, rich or poor. The fact that it has continued unabated is a sad commentary on the state of security in our nation. It is high time the authorities acted to stamp out this heinous crime,” ACN said.
The former deputy governor who has been in the hands of his abductors for about three weeks.
Confirming the killing, the ACN says the kidnappers had contacted the late Mr Nwike’s brother Bufo, demanding a ransom of 30 million dollars.
However, a sum of 5 million naira was negotiated and delivered to a location in delta state through a courier.
The party’s statement says “rather than release the ex-deputy governor, the kidnappers seized the money and the courier on April the 5th, cutting off all communication until the body was found.”
The ACN has asked the police to track down the abductors and killers of the politician and ensure they are brought to justice.