Officers of the combined Security Task Force in Ondo State have apprehended two members of a ‘kidnap syndicate’ on the Akure-Owo highway.
The two suspects, identified as 42-year-old Alhassan Saleh from Nasarawa State and 24-year-old Yahaya Yakubu from Kano State, were both arrested on Monday.
It was learnt that the suspects were members of the syndicate that has been terrorising travellers on the Akure/Owo/Akoko highway.
A top Army officer confirmed the arrest in a phone chat with SaharaReporters, noting that the “two suspects upon interrogation claimed they were informants of the kidnappers”.
Our correspondent learnt that an AK-47 Magazine was recovered from the two suspects shortly after their arrest.
Last week, heads of security agencies in Ondo State had set up a Joint Security Task Force to combat incessant kidnapping on the highways of Ondo State.
One of the top personnel of the security agencies had told SaharaReporters that the aim of the combined Task Force was to flush out all unrepentant kidnappers from their hideouts in the state. The officers of the Nigerian Army, DSS, Police and NSCDC that make up the Security joint Task Force have been mounting surveillance on the Akure/Owo/Akoko road.
Femi Joseph, Police Spokesman in Ondo State, also confirmed the arrest of the two suspects to SaharaReporters via phone call. He explained that the suspects were arrested after a “foiled kidnap” on Shagari Village in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
He said the security agencies got hint of the kidnapping of the victims and rushed to the scene, and were able to rescue them in a village at ijelu, along the Owo road. According to him, the top heads of all the security agencies in the state were involved in the rescue operation, including: the Police Commissioner, Commander of 32 Artillery Brigade, Commandant of the NSCDC, and the Director of DSS in the state.
“As soon as the incident occurred, all the service commanders namely: Commissioner Olugbenga Adeyanju, Brigadier James Ataguba of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Mr. Pedro Ideba of the Civil Defence and Mr S. Ayege of the DSS contacted one another and raced to the scene.
“After an exchange of gunshots with the hoodlums, their efforts paid off as they did not only rescue the victims, but also arrested two of the suspects as others escaped with gunshot injuries. Efforts are on to arrest the fleeing suspects, while those arrested are helping security agents in their investigation.”