Gunmen Abduct Catholic Priest In Abia, Demand N50bn Ransom

A graphical illustration of gunmen.

 

Reverend Father Chinedu Nwadike, a Catholic priest, has been kidnapped by gunmen identified to be bandits along the Okigwe – Enugu expressway in Umunneochi council area of Abia State.

Nwadike who is also the Deputy Registrar of Spiritan University Nneochi (SUN), was kidnapped alongside a seminarian over the weekend on their way to Enugu for an official assignment.

Information gathered suggest that the kidnappers have made contact with the school demanding N50bm ransom for his release.


READ ALSO: Police Rescue 1 Kidnap Victim, Kill 5 Kidnappers In Edo


As of the time of filing this report, the Abia State Police Command was yet to officially respond to questions regarding the abduction of the Reverend Father and seminarian.

Comments regarding the development have also not been made by the Catholic Archdiocese.

Rev. Fr Nwadike’s abduction is the latest in a series of kidnappings involving clergymen across the country. A few weeks back, two priests of the Catholic Church were kidnapped by bandits in Kaduna State.

Three days after they were taken by the gunmen, one of the priests was killed while the other was released by the bandits after an undisclosed amount of money was paid to them as ransom.

Reacting to the incident, President Muhammadu Buhari said he is deeply disturbed by the murder of the revered religious figure by outlaws who seem to be bent on creating chaos and disorder in the country.

According to President Buhari, the persistent attack on innocent people, including religious figures, by gunmen is a matter of grave concern, especially because security is one of the major issues of his campaign promises.

The president assured Nigerians that the government would continue to ensure the safety of the people.

“Let me reassure Nigerians that my commitment to this issue is as firm as ever; I have always made it a duty to regularly summon security chiefs to discuss these challenges and the way forward,” he said.

“I’m not allowing the security chiefs to rest unless and until we find a very effective solution to this disturbing security situation,” Buhari declared.

He said the security of all Nigerians remains his administration’s major priority, adding that the government remains determined to crush the bandits who he described as enemies of humanity.

Police Arrest Suspected Kidnap Kingpin, Others In Niger


 

A suspected kidnap kingpin and killer has been arrested by the police in Niger State.

Public Relations Officer of the Police Command In Niger, Wasiu Abiodun, said the man, identified as Bashiru Abdullahi, was arrested in Kontagora Local Government Area of the state.

He was arrested around 4:30 pm on July 14 by the police tactical team attached to the Minna Area command while trying “to recruit armed men needed to perpetrate his usual kidnapping escapades”, the police said.

In a statement on Saturday, Abiodun said the 40-year-old suspect is a native of Bangi town, which is the headquarters of Mariga LGA.

During interrogation, the suspect confessed to his involvement in the kidnapping and that he was planning to kidnap a former local government chairman for N10m, according to the statement.

The statement said he “claimed that the former chairman owed him about N5.8 million and that if the former chairman was kidnapped, he intended to collect N10 million as ransom from him.

“He further confessed that part of his plan was to equally kidnap the father of the former Commissioner whom he owes about one million, three hundred thousand naira (N1,300,000) from a business transaction between them while he was expecting to get fifteen million naira ransom from the plan.”

According to the police, further investigation revealed that sometime in March 2022, Bashiru is suspected to have murdered his younger brother, identified as Alhaji Mamuda Abdullahi aged 35 of Bangi.

“When he was interrogated, he confessed to the act (saying) that he contributed money with his brother to the tune of seventy-nine million naira (N79 million) for a business purpose, but he suspected that his brother swindled him and he hit him with a stick on the head which resulted in his death,” the police said.

“However, he told the family members that his brother was attacked and killed by bandits at Beri.”

The police believe the suspect is involved in other criminal acts and an investigation is ongoing to determine that and arrest other suspected members of his gang.

In a separate operation, the police in Niger arrested two suspects for criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, and robbery.

The police PRO identified the suspects as Mohamed Ndako and Mohammed Aliyu, both from Emitachigi Village in Katcha Local Government. Both men are based in the Gurara area of the Niger State capital, Minna.

According to him, the police operatives trailed the suspects to Paiko and arrested them when they were in the process of disposing of a stolen motorcycle.

He said, “During interrogation, Mohammed Aliyu confessed that on 13/07/2022 at about 2030hrs, he was at Gurara junction where he boarded a motorcycle to convey him to Gurara area and on reaching a point within the area, the suspect hit the motorcyclist who is by name Garba Aliyu ‘m’ of Barikichi area, Minna with a hammer on the head and fell unconscious.

“The suspect went away with the victim’s motorcycle and later joined Mohammed Ndako in his residence within the area, while both of them took the motorcycle to Paiko for sale, where they were apprehended.

“The two suspects confessed further to have conspired and stole a motorcycle at Bida within last year (2021) and the motorcycle was sold at the rate of forty thousand naira (N40,000) to a yet-to-be-identified person at Paiko.

“Two motorcycles were recovered from the suspects, one belonging to the deceased while the suspect Mohammed Aliyu claimed that the other motorcycle belonged to his brother.”

The suspects will be prosecuted after the completion of the investigation.

UPDATED: Bandits Demand N70m Ransom For Abducted Lecturer’s Family Members In Zamfara

A photo showing the map of Zamfara, a state in north-west Nigeria.

 

A seventy million naira ransom has been made by the gunmen who abducted five relatives of Mr Abdurrahman Adamu, the ASUU Chairman for the Federal University of Gusau (FUGUS).

Channels Television had earlier reported that the five relatives of Mr Adamu were adopted alongside a neighbour in the early hours of Wednesday.

The gunmen attacked the ASUU Chairman’s residence in Damba Quarters, a Community in the outskirts of Gusau, the state capital, carting away valuables.

A family source, who pleaded to speak anonymously told our reporter that the kidnappers called and are demanding a N70 million ransom before the family members can regain their freedom

He is calling for more prayers to secure the safe return of the abductees. As of the time filing this report, the police were yet to give a full brief about the situation, however, police spokesman, Muhammed Shehu, promised that he will give deeper insight as investigations progress.

Abductors Of Bethel Baptist School Students Demand N60m Ransom

A combination of file photos of the map of Kaduna State and a gun recovered from crime suspects.

 

The abductors of the 121 students of Bethel Baptist Secondary school in  Kaduna State are demanding the sum of N60 million as ransom before they will release the students.

The father of one of the kidnapped students confirmed the development to Channels Television.

He added that the bandits have also given them till next week Monday as the deadline for payment of the ransom.

He disclosed that after much negotiations, the bandits pegged the sum of N500,000 as a ransom for each student before they will be released.

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Bandits suspected to be kidnappers had on July 8 attacked Bethel Baptist Secondary school in Chikun Local Government Area of the state and abducted 121 students from their hostels.

Last week, they released one of the students who fell sick in their custody along with two other people who were kidnapped along the Kaduna-Kachia road.

They were later rescued inside the forest by operatives of the Kaduna state police command.

16-Year-Old Girl Connives With Boyfriend To Fake Kidnap, Demands N500,000 Ransom

Picture showing 16-year-old girl, Abimbola Suluka, her boyfriend, and the other suspects.

 

The Ekiti State police command have arrested a 16-year-old girl, Abimbola Suluka alongside her boyfriend, Oluwaseun Olajide for alleged conspiracy and self-kidnapping.

Abimbola is alleged to have conspired with her 25-year-old boyfriend and two of his friends to stage the abduction so as to raise money.

The Police spokesperson Sunday Abutu in a statement on Friday explained that Abimbola’s sister had gone to the police station to report that her sister was missing after leaving the house for school.

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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.

ASP ABUTU SUNDAY

POLICE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER

*FOR:* COMMISSIONER OF POLICE

EKITI STATE COMMAND

Obasanjo Faults Ransom Payment, Asks Govt To Develop Means To Tackle Banditry

 

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.

Obasanjo Calls For Stronger Opposition In Nigeria
A file photo of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

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 Kidnap Cleric, Ask Family To Start Saving For Ransom

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.

READ ALSO: Three Killed As Farmers, Herdsmen Clash In Jigawa

“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.

Norwegian Millionaire’s Wife Kidnapped, Ransom Demanded

This undated handout provided by the Norwegian police shows wife of Norwegian multi-millionaire Tom Hagen, Anne-Elisabeth Falkevik.  Handout / AFP / Norwegian Police

 

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.

AFP

We Didn’t Pay A Dime To Free Dapchi Girls, FG Reacts To UN Report

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

 

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.


READ ALSO: Boko Haram Funded By Charitable Donations, Extortion, Others – UN


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.

Abductors Of Ondo Monarch’s Wife Demand N20m Ransom

Suspected Pirates Shoot Pregnant Woman In Bayelsa
File photo of a gunman.

 

The abductors of the wife of Alauga of Auga-Akoko in Ondo State have contacted the victims’ family, demanding N20million ransom.

The traditional ruler, Oba Samuel Agunloye told journalists on Tuesday that the abductors contacted him through a phone call to demand the ransom.

The traditional ruler’s wife Olukemi Agunloye was abducted on Sunday alongside and her driver while travelling on Auga-Ise Akoko road in Akoko North East Local Government Area of Ondo State.

READ ALSO: Adamawa Killings: Military Arrests Five Over Reprisal On Fulani Community

Eyewitnesses informed Oba Agunloye about the abduction after seeing his vehicle abandoned with the abductors making away with his wife and driver.

Spokesman of Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph said the police is not aware of the demand that the abductors have demanded a ransom but an investigation is still ongoing on the crime.

Kidnappers Of Delta Traditional Ruler Demand N15m Ransom

Suspected Pirates Shoot Pregnant Woman In Bayelsa
File photo

 

Kidnappers of a traditional ruler in Delta State, Obi of Ogodo of Aniocha North Local Government Area, Sunday Olisewokwu, have demanded the sum of N15 million ransom.

The traditional ruler who is also the Chairman of Aniocha North traditional rulers committee was abducted by gunmen after his palace was invaded over the weekend.

READ ALSO: 210 Inmates Escaped From Niger Prison – Dambazau

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.

Evans Trial: Witness Narrates How He Paid £223,000 As Ransom

Kidnap Victim Narrates Ordeal As Evans’ Trial Continues
This file photo shows Evans after he was arrested in 2017.

 

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.

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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.