Men of the Oyo State Police Command on Thursday said that they have arrested no fewer than fifteen suspected kidnappers, mainly Fulani teenage herdsmen, alleged to have kidnapped two officials of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
The teenagers, aged between 10-18, who spoke in Hausa, confessed to be working for one Kire, a notorious armed robbery kingpin said to have come from Zamfara state with others at large.
The suspects also claimed to be responsible for the death of some of their victims.
Items recovered from the teenagers include four locally made single barrel guns, three long cutlasses, seven mobile phones, a sum of sixty seven thousand naira (N67,000), and a Bajaj Boxer motorcycle belonging to one of the abducted victims.
It was learnt that leader of the gang, Mohammed Kote (25) and Kire Babuga (20) were arrested in their hideout along Kishi/Igboho and inside the Old Oyo National Park, Igbeti where they used as cover to carry out their nefarious activities.
Also paraded on Thursday is a 40-year-old dismissed police woman who was alleged to be parading herself on police uniform and extorting money from unsuspecting members of the public in the state.
Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abiodun Odude while speaking on the arrests stated that the suspects and thirteen others arrested along with them were currently assisting the police in their investigation with a view to tracking other members of the criminal gang currently at large and recovering other sophisticated weapons still in their armoury.
Odude while confirming the security challenge of attacks and kidnapping in some parts of the state, disclosed that the prompt response of the state police command had restored peace to the axis.
He said “Recall that on 14 March, 2018 at about 1730hrs, two members of staff of WAEC, Ibadan office were kidnapped by some remnants of depleted gang of armed hoodlums when the victims were returning from Saki on an official trip.
“Concerned by this disturbing incident, we instantly set in motion necessary security apparatus involving the Special Anti Kidnapping Squad , the Special Anti Robbery Squad and plain clothes policemen to launch a manhunt for the abductors.
“The combined team which was given a mandate to ensure the rescue of the victims alive combed every nook and cranny of the forest where the suspects were suspected to be hiding,” he said.
He said that the policemen who were on the trail of the suspected teenage kidnappers, spent about seven hours in the forest hunting for the suspects.
Odude further expressed the commitment of the command to rid the state of crime and criminality through community policing, aggressive stop and search, purposeful vehicle patrol, intelligence gathering, and public partnership.