By Martin Iyonguvihi
A seven man kidnap syndicate operating along Otukpo-Ado road in Benue were recently arraigned by the Benue Police Command for allegedly kidnapping a Benue Commissioner for Housing and Urban Development, and three other commuters.
The defendants, Nuhu Musa aged 32, Mohammed Danjuma 38, Yunusa Usman age 22, Abubakar Usman age 25, Usman Saleh, Hamza Sani 25, and Monday Samuel age 27, were arraigned before a Makurdi Chief Magistrate Court for criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of firearms, kidnapping, and acts of terrorism.
They were arraigned based on Section 6(b) and 3(1) of the Robbery and Firearms Special Provision Act 2004, Section 3(2) and 4(2) of the Abduction, Hostage Taking, Kidnapping, Secret Cult and Similar Activities Prohibition Law of Benue State 2017.
According to the charge sheet signed by the Investigation Police Officer, IPO, Sgt. Kohol Benjamin, the case was received on the 31st December, 2023 “following the emergence of incessant kidnapping spree in Benue South region which includes the kidnapping of Hon. Dennis Ogbu, Benue State Commissioner for Housing/Urban Development on 04/12/2022 along Ado/Otukpo road;
“And the kidnapping of three commuters namely: Ada Simon Nathaniel, Ogomola Philip Odogwu and Abdullahi Mustapha, on 25/12/2022 along Ohimini/Otukpo road on 30/12/2022. At about 0230hrs, men of Operation Zenda JTF led by Inspr. Anyiatse Terfa acting om credible intelligence trailed and arrested the suspects”.
He said one berretta pistol was recovered from them while other members of the gang are still at large.
No plea was taken in court for want of jurisdiction when the case came up as the Prosecutor, Inspector Jonah Uletu, asked for an adjournment to complete investigation in the matter and also applied that the defendants be remanded in prison custody.
Ruling on the matter, the Chief Magistrate, Rose Iorshe Esq. adjourned the case to 22nd March, 2023 for further mention and ordered that the defendants be remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Facility in Makurdi.