'He Shared Cars And Left Me Out'- Herbalist who Kidnapped A Philanthropist In Ikorodu

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Operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Ikeja

police command, Lagos State have finally hunted down the alleged master­mind of the kidnap of Durodola Muwalu, man­ager and younger brother of the owner of Dam-jay Hotel located in Ikorodu, Prince Jacob Araba. He is Adekoya Oni, a native of Agbowa Ikosi in Epe Local Government Area and a herbalist with about 27 years experience.


It was reported two weeks ago that SARS tracked and arrested a four-man gang of kidnapers in their hideout in Ijebu Ode area of Ogun State. In the process, they also rescued their latest victim, Durodola Muwalu, who had been in their custody for 11 days.


The suspects were Felix Ikuomola, Gbenga Popoola, Sunday Akibi and Azeez Olowu. In their confessional statement, they alleged that a certain man, known to them as Baba Agbodi (Adekoya) was the one who gave them the contract and also provided all necessary details and logistics.


On the circumstances surrounding his arrest,Saturday Sun gathered that Adekoya, on realising that his game was up, left town with an excuse that he went to visit his sick mother. Two weeks later, he returned in the hope that police had stopped searching for him.


He was said to have bragged to the community that, although the gang mentioned him during their confession, no policeman would dare enter his shrine. He was later arrested inside his shrine while attending to his customers.

Face-to-face with his accusers, Adekoya claimed that the only reason he allowed them to go ahead with the kidnapping was because Prince Jacob Araba, who is known as a generous philanthropist, bought cars for the community leaders and exempted him.


“I am the son of the former baale (traditional ruler) in our community and a renowned herbalist. I deserve all the respect I should get in this community. So, I felt bad that Prince Araba shared cars and did not give me. I was happy when these boys consulted me. I did not give them the contract, I only consented to the kidnap.”

He admitted that the gang met with him twice in his office.

“I have known Gbenga for a long time. We met when his mother brought his pregnant wife to me for prayers. I told them what to do and they failed to abide by my instruction. The baby died at birth.

“So, I was not surprised when he came with four other young men to seek my consent. I only told them that it was a good idea and advised them that it would be better to kidnap his brother, Muwalu. The person that I have issues with is the brother of Prince Araba; he is the one who advised Prince Araba not to include my name in the list of those who he bought cars for. Muwalu is a wicked, greedy man and I know that Prince Araba will pay any­thing to save his brother. My only crime here is that I did not report to the police, but it was their idea,”

However, members of the gang, who are still in police custody, insist that he was the mastermind of the abduc­tion.Daring him to refute their claim, Azeez said that dur­ing the meeting, when they raised the issue of police, he assured that he would exonerate them.


“He is lying. I dare him to refute his statement during our last meeting that if we were arrested, he would stand and ask for our release. He said that policemen fear him. This was why, as soon as we were arrested, we mentioned his name. I am shocked that he could deny us even while alive.’

On what really transpired, Azeez alleged that Oju called them that there was a need to arrange a job so that he could raise money for his child’s naming ceremony.


“He was desperate and as friends who had done jobs (robbery) in the past, we decided to help him if he could get any contact. Two days later, he called and told us that Baba Agbod.i had a good deal for us. He scheduled a meeting and myself, Gbenga and Oju went to his office in the Itoki area of Ikorodu. He is well known in the com­munity. He told us that our target is very rich and would pay anything to secure the release of any of his family members. We agreed to share the loot equally, even as he provided all the necessary information. We tried twice to pick him at the hotel but left out of fear of being caught.

“On the day Muwalu was abducted, he was the one who called and informed us that the target was close by. He advised that we should pick him close to his house as the road is very bad and he would surely slow down. He was watching from afar, so that he would not be caught since he was well known. He even called to congratulate us as soon as we succeeded.

“When we were running out of cash, we called him to assist us with small money since there was delay in pay­ing the ransom. He was angry and said that we were not putting much pressure on Prince Araba. We even called to inform him that the police were looking for us and he advised that we should relocate,” Azeez alleged.


The man who was rescued, Muwalu was grateful to God for sparing his life and said that he had finished the day’s work and was heading home in his brother’s car (the owner of the hotel) when the kidnappers blocked him close to his house.


“I was heading home in my brother’s car at about 8.30pm, when a car blocked me and about three men, heavily armed, stepped down and asked me to get out of the car. They dragged me out of the car into another one and tied me up. They also blindfolded me. They later took me to a house after several hours of driving.

“They were calling me Chief Araba and I told them that I am not the one. I told them that I am his manager and they started beating me mercilessly. I pleaded for my life and they said that I should give them my oga’s num­ber so that they would call him. I was there when they called him, demanding N60million. I told them that they were carrying the wrong person. I have not seen N6mil­lion not to talk of N60million in my entire life.

“The more I pleaded, the more beating I got. They kept me tied up in the room and only gave me water to drink. This was what sustained me till I was rescued,” Muwalu narrated.

Surprised at the identity of the man behind the kid­nap, Chief Jacob Araba, who was the initial target, said he knew little or nothing about Adekoya, the suspect.


“I am a philanthropist and by the special grace of God, I have enough to feed my family. I do not know the man but I was told that he had benefitted a lot from my ges­tures to the community. I always ensure that I encourage the leaders of the community to keep the area safe. I am happy that they have been arrested except Oju, who I learnt is still on the run. I have confidence in the Nigeria police for once in my life. I thank CP Kayode Aderanti for allowing his detectives, led by SP Kyari, to rescue my brother and arrest the criminals.”


 


Miss Petite




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'He Shared Cars And Left Me Out'- Herbalist who Kidnapped A Philanthropist In Ikorodu
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