The Nasarawa State Police Command has arrested a suspected member of a notorious kidnap gang, Bello Mohammed, for allegedly beheading a businessman, Osondu Nwachukwu, after his family could only raise N40,000 out of the N5 million they had demanded as ransom after his abduction.
The state police spokesman, ASP Rahman Nansel, who confirmed this on Friday while parading Mohammed alongside other criminal suspects at the command headquarters in Lafia, said the deceased owned a sachet water factory in the state capital.
While briefing newsmen, Nansel said
Mohammed and four other gang members who are currently on the run and identified simply as Maikano, Dogo, Hassan and Jubril, reportedly perpetrated the act.
“The suspect, Mohammed, who was arrested on March 11 by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), and his gang, after abducting Nwachukwu, called his family demanding for a ransom of N5m, but they could only raise N40,000.
“The wife of the deceased was told by the gang to drop the money at a designated point in the bush
“Before she could deliver it, they butchered her husband and put his corpse in a sack.
“The suspects were about to dispose of the remains in a bush in the Bukan Koto area along Makurdi Maraba-Ankunza road when some men, who were going to a mosque to pray, saw them conveying the sack in a wheelbarrow.
“The kidnappers abandoned the sack and ran away when the worshippers, who were suspicious of the gang, demanded to know the content.
“They saw the corpse of the victim and reported the matter to the police.
“Acting on credible intelligence, detectives were able to arrest one Bello Mohammed, a native of Lafia Local Government Area, Nasarawa. He confessed to the crime and said that he is part of a kidnapping and cattle rustling gang.
The 37-year-old Mohammed, while responding to questions from journalists, claimed to be a farmer, married with two wives and eight children.
He said his brother-in-law, Dogo, who is also the gang leader, persuaded him to join the kidnap gang when he (Mohammed) complained that things were hard for him.
“It was one Igbo man in Lafia who told us about the man who owns a ‘pure water’s business,” Mohammed said.
“He told us that the man was very rich and stingy. He assured us that the man would pay at least N10m because he was rich. He gave us all the details about his movement and advised that the best place to abduct him was his house.
“We went into his house on three motorbikes around 8.30pm and loitered around his compound.
“One of us waited for him at the factory area and followed him home. It was the gang member who alerted us that they were on the way to the house.
“As soon as he drove into his compound around 9pm, we followed and overpowered him.
“We searched his house for valuables and dragged him along. We carried him on our bikes and threatened to kill him if he raised the alarm. When we got to a spot, we stopped and trekked for hours into Bukan Koto forest in Lafia.
“When we got to our camp, we called his wife and told the family to pay N5m for his release but that Igbo man who gave us the job later phoned us and said the family could not raise the N10m ransom.
“But he said the wife was lying and not serious to save the life of her husband. Unfortunately, the man overheard our conversation and was able to identify the person that gave us the job. The man told us to kill him after collecting the money.
“We were ready to spare him but his wife was not making any serious effort. So Dogo got angry and said that he was no longer interested in the job. He used his machete to cut off the man’s head.
“Dogo then butchered him and packed his remains in a sack. Two others and I were given the body to dispose of it at the nearest river.
“We used a wheelbarrow to carry the butchered body but we were stopped by some Fulani men returning from the mosque. We all left the corpse and ran away. I guess they were the ones who reported the matter to the police.”