Operatives of the Edo State Police Command have arrested one Innocent Emonyon, who kidnapped the public relations officer of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) in the state, Mrs Bridget Esene.
The Fulani accomplices whose names were given as Baguba Usman and Yusuf Ismaila were also arrested in connection with the abduction of Mrs Esene and other victims.
It was gathered that Emonyon and his syndicate who are from the South-South usually kidnapped people in Benin metropolis and sell them to Fulani herders in Ahor forest near Benin.
The Street Journal, on January 24, reported that Mrs Esene was kidnapped on her way to church in Benin City. She was freed a week later.
The 40-year-old Emonyon, who doubles as the professional driver of the gang, was arrested by operatives of the Anti Kidnapping and Cybercrime Unit of the police command.
It was learnt that the Police had in February arrested four members of the gang in their hideout in Ahor forest, however, Emonyon managed to escape.
Emonyon was first arrested in 2016 for kidnapping but was acquitted by the court after spending three years in police custody. The case was dropped after the family, and kidnapped victims refused to appear to give evidence in court, Standard Gazette reports.
Emonyon, who spoke to the publication, revealed how they kidnapped the Immigration PPRO and other victims.
“I was the one who drove the car used in kidnapping the Edo Immigration PPRO and sold her to some Fulani herdsmen in Ahor forest,” he said.
“We also kidnapped a businesswoman along Lucky Way in Benin city, where we took her to the same forest after we destroyed her two mobile phones.”
He also confessed to kidnapping another businessman in Aduwawa, Benin city where they snatched his Toyota Highlander jeep.
When asked about the four other members of his gang, he said,
“I heard they were arrested, and I quickly ran to Lagos so that they will not catch me; I was shocked at how the police got me now.”
The anti-kidnapping and Cybercrime unit, following his abduction, raided the Ahor forest again on Wednesday, March 24, and arrested Baguba Usman and Yusuf Ismaila, who were named as accomplices to the several abductions.
The police identified Baguda as one of the prisoners who escaped from the Edo correctional facility on October 19 during the EndSars.
Baguda confessed to have participated in several kidnappings since his escape from prison.
“I escaped from prison on October 19, 2020, after some people broke into the prison by force and asked us to go. I knew Desmond, one of the kidnappers in prison, and we planned and carried out so many kidnappings in Benin city,” he said.
The development was confirmed by the spokesperson of the command, SP Bello Kontongs, who added that the Police Commissioner, Philip Ogbadu has ordered an investigation.