Alleged suspects, Baale of Shangisha, Chief Yusuf Ogundare (right), with his brother and accomplice, Mohammed Adams (left), being paraded during a press briefing at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Thursday.
• Demands unconditional release of kidnapped children
• Another kidnaps self, demands N60m from sibling
The Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the immediate suspension of the Baale of Shangisha in Magodo, Yusuf Ogundare.
The traditional ruler was suspended by the governor on Thursday for faking his kidnap, which allegedly took place on July 5, 2017. He was paraded alongside his suspected accomplice and brother, Mohammed Adams by the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, during a press briefing at the Lagos House in Ikeja yesterday.
Adams, on the fateful day, reported the alleged kidnap incidence to the police. Speaking while parading the two suspects, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said the command on July 5 received the report of Ogundare’s alleged kidnap, and immediately swung into action in collaboration with other security agencies, especially the Department of State Service (DSS).
Owoseni said luck, however, ran out on Ogundare when he was apprehended by men of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) in Alausa area of the state on July 11 after he was dropped in a suspicious manner by a car, which sped off immediately.
Giving details of how Ogundare was apprehended, Owoseni said: “On July 11 around 10p.m., a team of RRS patrol officers working around Alausa had sighted a vehicle drop a male adult in a suspicious manner close by Shoprite along the Secretariat road. The speed with which that car drove off attracted them to that spot and fortunately before they got to the spot, the car had taken off and a quick enquiry revealed that it was the Baale that was allegedly kidnapped.
“Immediately after while Ogundare was being debriefed, he sold a dummy that the kidnappers dropped him off but unknowingly to him, it had been found out that on July 5, the day he was allegedly kidnapped in Lagos, investigation had revealed that he was driving around in Ibadan around Ashi; he went to Ilorin, he went to Iwo, he was just on a frolic.
“And unknowingly to him as well that because of information that had gotten to security services that his younger brother and his wife were being questioned and were actually in custody because of some discrepancies that were noticed in the interaction they had with security agencies, our findings were such that the act of the chief was despicable and amounted to crying wolf where there is none,” Owoseni said.
In addition, the Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, has demanded the unconditional release of the six children kidnapped from Igbonla Model College since May 25. Kazeem spoke at the Governor’s office while the Baale of Shangisha was paraded.
Kazeem said it was disheartening that while the state government and security agencies were working round the clock to secure the release of the children, some unscrupulous persons deemed it fit to raise false alarm.
“Nothing can be more despicable and heinous than to raise false alarm where there is none. This is even more despicable when we consider the plight of these children that were recently kidnapped and are still being held by the kidnappers.
“Let me sound a very serious note of warning that we have zero tolerance for crimes against the state. No matter how high or low you may be in the society, you can be assured that we will bring you to justice if you commit a crime.”
Meanwhile, the Lagos State police command has arrested Ufom Udoh for allegedly staging his kidnap in order to defraud his sibling. The incident occurred on July 3, at Liverpool area of Apapa.
It was gathered that one Victor Udoh, had reported at the police command that unknown persons kidnapped his younger brother.
According to the command’s spokesman, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, the case was referred to the anti-kidnapping unit of the command, which swung into action.
He said the unit, led by Akinade Adejobi, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), traced all calls the complainant got on his phone, adding that it led to the arrest of one Paul Okiemute, who reported the case at Udoh’s work place.
Okiemute, upon questioning, confessed that Udoh staged his own kidnap to collect money from his elder brother due to his financial problems.
Famous-Cole said: “Udoh was not kidnapped. It was all planned. He staged his own kidnap so that his elder brother can pay ransom.”
The suspect said he made calls to the victim’s elder brother with an unknown number demanding a ransom of N60million.
“Udoh was later picked up and he confessed to the crime. He said he had checked into a hotel at Iyana-Ipaja area on July 3, where he spent three nights without food and water. The suspect said he later trekked to Ifo area in Ogun state, only to return to Lagos looking frail for his story to look convincing,” said Famous-Cole.