Five of the suspected kidnappers of former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Chief Olu Falae were on Thursday arraigned at the State High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
The suspects, identified as Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal were accused of collecting N5million ransom before freeing the elder statesman.
According to a police source, the suspects were arrested at different locations in the country by men of the Police Special Intelligence Response Team (PSIRT) directed by the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase to fish out the criminals.
Before they were taken to the court room, three of the suspected kidnappers, Ibrahim, Lawal, Muhammed who spoke in Hausa language, told journalists how they shared the money.
According to them, they were giving N100,000 each by their leaders after the operation.
They added that they do not know the ring leader of the group but that they normally spoke with him on phone.
Ibrahim particularly confirmed that he is a resident of Akure but refused to disclose his occupation.
A top ranking Police officer, who preferred anonymity said Abubakar Auta, who is one of the group’s leaders, was caught with N823,990 in Niger.
He explained that Auta played an intermediary role between those who kidnapped Falae from his farm in Ilado in Akure north local government and the ring leader, who is still at large.
The police revealed that two of the suspects, Usman Kato and Babawuro, recently paraded by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja were among the eight suspected kidnappers who took part in the operation.
While showing journalists the charge sheet, he said Auta was arrested from Niger, Ibrahim, Ondo, Muhammed, Lawan and Tanu, Ekiti states.
Exhibits recovered include: N823,990:00, 12 Sim Cards, a phone used for Chief Falae’s ransom negotiation and a Red Bajaj Motorcycle with Reg No; KER 385 QA used for the Kidnapping Operation and carrying of Chief Olu Falae to their Camp when he got tired working in the Bush.
At the court, the suspects pleaded not guilty when the charge was read and interpreted to them.IMG_20151015_133450
The prosecutor, Mrs. Tuki said the offences were contrary to section 2 of Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law, 5(1)(a) of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Laws, Section3(11)(b) of the Anti-Kidnapping and Abduction Law, Section 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms(Special Provision) Act,Cap R11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria,2004 and Section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act,Cap R11, Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, respectively.
Thereafter, the presiding judge, Justice Willam Rotimi Olamide ordered that the suspects be remanded at Olokuta prison and adjourned the matter till November 10.