Detectives from the Ondo Police Command have arrested three suspected kidnappers in connection with the abduction of Alhaji Ibrahim Bodunde, the Chief Imam of Uso in Owo local government area of the state.
The three suspects, who include 40-year-old Isah Bello, her daughter, Aisha Bello, 20, and her 19-year-old girlfriend, Muinah Mohammed, were arrested through intelligence gathering.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Funmi Odunlami, explained that the three suspects were traced through the phone used to negotiate the ransom for the release of the Chief Imam.
According to her, Aisha Bello gave her father’s old SIM card to her boyfriend who used it to negotiate with the victim’s family while the young lady had no idea what her boyfriend was using the SIM card for.
However, the police image maker said other suspects who carried out the criminal activities have run away from the community but assured that they will be arrested soon.
Odulami said: “On June 18, 2023, a Mrs. Bodunde at about 6:00pm went to the Uso branch to complain that her husband, Alli Ibrahim Bodunde, went to the farm and he was supposed to come back at about 2:00pm but when they did not see him, they unfortunately sent two people to the farm to look for him.
“When they got to the farm, they met his car and his mobile phone, but they couldn’t see him. And immediately the case was reported, the police went into action, and at the end of the day the man was released.
“However, in the cause of the investigation, we realized that the man in question is the Chief Imam of the Uso community and through our intelligence team, we were able to arrest the suspects and at the conclusion of the investigation, the suspects will be charged to court. “
Narrating his experience at the hands of his captors, the Chief Imam, Alhaji Bodunde, said he was forced to wander for six hours in the bush while he was beaten for his inability to speak English during his interrogation by the suspected kidnappers.
He said his family negotiated the ransom from N10m to N2m before he was released by the suspected kidnappers, saying he was not given food or water for 48 hours during his stay in the kidnappers’ den.
According to him, his abductors had information about him when they printed his dossier for him, but said they were unable to retrieve his phone because they could not see where he kept it.
Alhaji Bodunde disclosed that the abductors insisted that he should speak to them in Pidgin English and not speak Yoruba and whenever he mistakenly spoke in Yoruba, he was beaten by his abductors.
He said his captors tied his hands and legs to a tree while the leader of the kidnapping syndicate, who joined them from his hideout, negotiated with the family members.
Bodunde disclosed that his abductors demanded N10m ransom for his release but eventually his family paid N2m before they took him back to his farm and released him.
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