Ondo police nab three suspects involved in Chief Imam’s abduction

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Police detectives in Ondo State have arrested three people suspected to have allegedly kidnapped Ibrahim Oyinlade, the Chief Imam of Uso community in Owo local government area of the state.

The alleged abductors were tracked by a cell phone number that was used for negotiating the cleric’s release.

The 67-year-old cleric was abducted on his farm and later released the following day.

Parading the suspects, the Public Relations Officer of Ondo State Police Command, SP Funmilayo Odunlami-Omisanya, identified them as Muina Mohammed, 19, Aisha Bello, 20 ,and Isah Bello, aged 40 years.

“On the 18th of June, 2023, one Mrs Bodunde, around 6pm went to the Uso division to complain that her husband, Alli Ibrahim Bodunde, went to the farm and he was supposed to come back around 2pm; unfortunately, when they did not see him they sent two persons to the farm in order to look for him,” Odunlami-Omisanya said.

“When they got to the farm, they met his car and his mobile phone, but they could not see him. And immediately the case was reported, the police swung into action and at the end of the day, the man was released.”

Narrating his ordeal when the suspects were paraded, Alhaji Bodunde said he was on his farm packing some pineapples he had harvested into the boot of his car around 11:00am on that fateful day when two armed men suddenly appeared from the bush and abducted him, abandoning his car at the scene

According to the Islamic cleric, his abductors had relevant information about him. He said they were unable to collect his phone because they couldn’t see it where he kept it.
He disclosed that they made him trek for over six hours searching for where to hide, adding that they insisted that he should speak to them in pidgin English and must not speak Yoruba.

According to the victim, when they arrived at a place, they put his back against a tree and tied his hands to his back.

Bodunde disclosed that his abductors demanded N10 million ransom for his release, but eventually, his family paid N2 million before they led him back to his farm and released him around 7:00 pm the following day.

Police investigations into the abduction led to the tracking of the telephone number used for the negotiation with the family of the victim and 40-year-old Isah Bello was arrested.

When Isah was arrested, it was discovered that his daughter, Aishat, 19, who collected his old SIM gave it to Muina who used it for the negotiation.

Aishat and Muina were subsequently arrested and taken to the Command headquarters for interrogation.

In her statement, Aishat said she only knew the suspect at Ogbese Market where she also hawks raw milk, adding that Muina asked her for a SIM card and she had to beg her father to lend her his old SIM card with the promise to return it.

But when Muina finished using the SIM card, he lied to Aishat that the SIM card was missing. But she insisted on collecting the SIM card because her father was asking for it.
Eventually, Muina returned the SIM card to her and she gave it to her father.

The police spokesperson assured that the two other fleeing members of the syndicate would be apprehended as detectives are already on their trail.

She concluded that at the end of the investigations, the suspects will be charged to court.

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