By: Itodo Daniel Sule

The wave of criminal activities especially kidnapping and armed robbery almost reached a crescendo in Kogi State at a point.

Kidnapping became virtually a daily occurrence in the state, a situation which made the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to deploy a Special Anti-Crime Taskforce to tackle the menace at a time.

Amongst prominent personalities abducted by the kidnappers include Kogi State High Court Judge, Justice Samuel Obayomi and some Chinese expatriates working in the state just to mention a few.

While some of the abductees, including the likes of the High Court Judge, Justice Obayomi, were able to secure their freedom unharmed, others who were not lucky enough lost their lives in the process.

Last week, the Kogi State Police Command paraded 14 out of the over 30 suspects arrested and kept in its custody over alleged crimes of kidnapping, armed robbery, cattle rustling and other violent crimes.

Kogi State Police Commissioner, Samuel Ogunjimilusi, while parading the suspects in Lokoja, gave a graphic narration of how a kingpin of the kidnappers, who has been on the wanted list met his waterloo in a crossfire with his men at Okene.

“I want to inform you with pride that those who kidnapped our judge, Justice Obayomi met their waterloo few days ago. One Isa popularly known as Osama was gunned down.

“It was a case of outright revenge. He (Osama) was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to imprisonment for conspiracy and armed robbery for terms of 15 years for conspiracy and 10 for armed robbery but both prisons terms were to run concurrently.

“Last year, he escaped from Koton Karfe prison and this year, he decided to embark on revenge mission. The first thing he did was to organize the kidnapping of our judge and in the process killed the orderly, our own corporal Musa.

“Well, he escaped and after much pressure, we were able to secure the release of the judge unharmed but we lost the orderly and his pistol taken away.

“You can see that it was a grand design and a real organized crime. The policeman (orderly) he killed was the person that arrested him, the judge he kidnapped was the judge that sentenced him to prison and the place he returned to rob in Okene few days ago was that of the complainant in the case that landed him in prison.

“You can see that our job is risky but we are determined to ensure that Kogi State becomes the safest state in this nation. You can bear me witness now that for over month now, we have enjoyed relative peace in the state,” the CP said.

He said Osama, the prime suspect behind series of kidnapping was gunned down in a gun duel and one of his accomplices arrested with two of his gang members escaping with bullet wounds.

The said accomplice, Bolaji Williams, who was paraded at the Police Command, told newsmen that he was detailed by the deceased prime suspect (Osama) to keep watch over captors kept in a cave used for their nefarious activities.

“I receive between N30,000 to N50,000 to oversee people kept in the cave. It is not long that I joined the gang,” he said.

Another suspected kidnapper, Idris Mohammed, admitted he abducted three Fulani men and collected ransoms amounting to over N1million which he reportedly used in buying some cows.

Also paraded include 12 other suspects nabbed for various armed robbery activities carried out in different parts of the state.

Some of the suspects interviewed admitted belonging to robbery gang.

Exhibits recovered from the suspects include pistols, single barrel guns, dane guns, cartridges, swords, cutlasses, dagger, charms, motorcycles, generator set and handsets, amongst others.