The police have arrested a 60-year-old man, Bala Garba, and 11 others for the abduction of 18-year-old twin sisters, Hassana and Hussaina Bala, on October 21, 2018, in Dauran village, Zurmi Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
The teenagers were distributing their wedding invitations to families and friends when they were abducted by the gang.
The suspects reportedly released their victims after raping them and collecting N15m ransom.
Members of the kidnap gang paraded by the force spokesman, Jimoh Moshood, in Abuja on Monday, included Nafiu Usman aka Baba Doctor, 28; Ma’aruf Usman; Inusa Usman, 40; Awal Jibril, 41; and Shehu Mohammed, 55.
Others are Alhaji Ibrahim Ibrahim, 35; Ibrahim Sani, 45; Kabiru Usman, 30; Garba, 60; Maigari Labbo, 56; Mohammed Aramako, 31; and their informant, Salisu Wadatau, 38.
According to the police spokesman, exhibits recovered from the suspects included six Ak-47 rifles, four magazines, 34 Ak-47 live ammunition and four swords.
Moshood said, “The operatives of the IGP Intelligence Response Team carried out a discrete investigation into the matter and succeeded in arresting the 12 suspects, who were directly responsible for the kidnap of the twin sisters, Hassana and Hussaina Bala, on October 21, 2018, in Dauran village, Zurmi LGA, Zamfara State.
“The suspects were arrested in various criminal hideouts in Katsina and Zamfara states.”
Moshood stated that the suspects admitted to receiving N15m ransom, adding that each of them got N500,000.
He noted that efforts were being intensified to arrest the gang leader, identified as Dankarami, and one Sirajo Dogo, who allegedly masterminded the kidnap.
Usman said in an interview that he was lured into the crime by the gang members, who bought foodstuffs in the village.
He stated in Hausa, “Someone tipped off the gang leader, Yellow, about the twin sisters, so we went to their house on six motorcycles and abducted them. We were paid N15m, but each of us got N500,000.”
Garba claimed that he got involved with the gang when he paid someone N20,000 to kill the person he quarrelled with.
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Police Command has arrested no fewer than 21 hoodlums, who were allegedly involved in kidnapping, cultism and robbery in the state.
The robbery suspects are Salami Aliyu, Segun Abiodun, Moyegun Adebayo, Afolabi Lukuman, Daniel Olatunde, Adebayo Afeez, Oluwole Abiodun and Alabi Iyegigololi.
According to the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Gbenga Adeyanju, the suspected cultists include Raji Olorunda, Sala Toba, Akinwumi Ojo, Akintade Segun, Oyintade Olayinka and Afolayan Temitope.
Others are Adeya Dayo, Alesinloye Sunday, Abiola Eniola, Uche Odoti and Ayomide Oluwatosin.
The CP, while parading the suspects at the command headquarters in Akure on Monday, said some of the suspected armed robbers and cultists had been on the wanted list of the police.
He said, “The robbery suspects were hibernating in the Iroju area of Ore; policemen from the Ore Division immediately stormed the place and arrested some suspected robbers and cultists.
“They, thereafter, led the police to arrest their kingpin and leader, Salami Aliyu, aka General Paul, a notorious armed robber and unrepentant cultist, who had been involved in so many violent crimes within Ore and its environs.”
He added that men of the command, acting on a tip-off, arrested the suspected cult members in different locations within Akure with the assistance of some youth leaders in the community.
“They all confessed to being members of the Eiye and Aiye fraternities,” Adeyanju explained.
The police boss added that two members of a kidnapping gang, Mohammed Jaihe and Jimoh Ahmed, whom he said had been terrorising the state, were also arrested in the forest of Ago-Ajayi in the Oba-Akoko, Akoko South-East Local Government Area of the state.
Meanwhile, a group, the Coalition of Non-indigenes in Ondo State, has commended the state police command for tackling cases of kidnapping in the state.
The President of the group, Mr Victor Adoyi, urged farmers and other non-indigenes in the rural areas of the state to give the police useful information that could lead to the arrest of hoodlums, who had turned the forests into dens of kidnappers.