A guard at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna State, Abubakar Aliyu, has been arrested with two other accomplices Abubakar Yakubu aka Dogo and Isaa Kabiru aka Wicked, for the alleged kidnapping of two lecturers in the institution.
The lecturers were identified as Prof Ibrahim Bako and Dr Abdulmumuni Ibrahim, said to be lecturers at the Faculty of Medicine.
The gang also reportedly kidnapped Ibrahim’s two children as well as one Ajiyah Ramatu and her son, Rabiu. It was learnt that Ramatu and Rabiu were abducted at the sick bay unit of the university.
The suspects were picked up recently by detectives attached to the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team.
Police said the gang carried out six kidnappings in the university and confessed to have been engaged by a former chief security officer of the institution who is still at large.
A police source revealed that “After a series of complaints, the university management requested the intervention of the IRT. During our investigations, we arrested Abubakar Yakubu aka Dogo, an okada rider. He said a former chief security officer of the university and one Bello, were the ones who invited him and his gang to terrorise the university because the present VC removed him (the CSO) from his position.”
Yakubu, who hails from Giwa Local Government Area of Kaduna State, said that he was introduced to kidnapping by one Sanusi (also at large), adding that he got between ₦16,000 and ₦30,000 share each time a ransom was paid.
The 24-year-old father of three added that Sanusi lured him into kidnapping on the promise that he would make a lot of money.
He said, “I dropped out from primary school and went into cattle rearing. I bought a motorcycle and started operating around Samaru town in ABU and ABU Teaching Hospital. I used to make close to ₦3,000 daily. I went into kidnapping because of greed through Sanusi.
“He told me that the okada business I was doing would not get me enough money. I joined the gang and we kidnapped one pastor at Sabua Local Government Area. We also kidnapped one Alhaji Mutair. We followed him to his house and kept him at Kidandan Forest for four days.
“I don’t know how much was paid as ransom. I wasn’t there when the ransom was negotiated but I got ₦30,000 as my own share. I bought food and clothes with the money. We also went for another kidnapping in Kundu village in Giwa LGA and we kidnapped a man whose name I don’t know. We followed the man to his house and it was one Ballo Ahudu, our informant, who brought the job. We kidnapped the man and took him to our camp where he spent 11 days with us. I got ₦16,000 as my share of the ransom.”
Yakubu, who said their next operation was at ABU, stated that they were contracted by a former CSO of the university. He claimed that the ex-CSO contacted him through one Arbo Bello.
He said, “We had a meeting and the former CSO and Bello told us that they wanted us to cause insecurity in the university because the vice chancellor wasn’t ready to work with them and that there were also lecturers and professors who were not happy with the new VC. They wanted insecurity in the school so that the new VC would not succeed.
“They told us nothing would happen if we carried out kidnapping in the school. Six of us struck at the school in September 2020 and we kidnapped two children of Dr. Abdulmumuni and took them to our camp. They spent 13 days with us.
“Our gang leader, Alhaji Layi, was the person who negotiated the ransom. I don’t know the amount that was paid but I got ₦30,000 as my share. We then went to kidnap Ajiya Ramatu and her son and took them to our camp where they were kept for 13 days. After the ransom was paid, I was given ₦30,000.”
Yakubu said he was arrested at Biye village while another victim they kidnapped was in their camp, adding that he led the police to apprehend two other members of the gang.
The guard, 27-year-old Aliu, said he agreed to join the gang because he was not happy about the former CSO’s sacking.
The father of four admitted to have participated in three of the kidnappings and got a share of ₦550,000.
He said, “I am a security guard at ABU. I was employed in 2015 through the former CSO. I was not happy that the VC sacked him and I decided to join him to destabilise the university. I was the person that monitored the movement of all the kidnappers in the university. I monitored three kidnappings. I got ₦550,000 for participating in the kidnappings.”
Kabiru, 35, said he was a businessman and was not involved in the kidnappings. He, however, said he used to buy stolen cows from the gang.