Police operatives of the Intelligence Response Team have arrested two suspects for the kidnap of a medical doctor, Audu Benedict, his son, and one of his associates in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of Benue State.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, who disclosed this in a statement on Monday said the victims were travelling from Taraba State to Abuja on March 10, 2019, before the incident.
He disclosed that the suspects – Henry Gwa, 25, and Terhile Tsavbe, 30, – who both hail from Benue State, were arrested on June 6 and 11 this year following an intense search for the victims and manhunt for the perpetrators by the police team.
“Investigations revealed that the criminal gang collected N7.5 million as ransom from the families of the victims as a condition for their release.
“The suspects forced late Dr Audu Benedict to issue them a cheque of N500,000 which they cashed in a commercial bank in Gboko town, Benue State,” the police spokesman said.
He added that despite collecting the sum, the suspects killed the three victims and had them buried in a shallow grave at Gawa in Katsina-ala LGA of Benue.
According to Mba, efforts are being intensified to arrest other suspects still at large and the police team is on the verge of exhuming the remains of the slain victims.
In a similar development, he said 25 other criminal suspects were arrested for their involvement in varying cases of kidnapping, armed robbery and illegal possession of prohibited firearms.
The police spokesman described the suspects as members of high-profile criminal gangs terrorising communities and major highways of the North-Central and North-West states of the country.
“Exhibits recovered by the police team from the suspects include six AK47 rifles, three locally fabricated pump action guns, one locally fabricated pistol, two Dane guns, 55 rounds of AK47 ammunition, four empty magazines, one laptop computer, and one Toyota Corolla car with REG No. MKD 13 RC,” he said.
Mba said all the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of investigations while the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has given assurance that the battle against criminal elements in the country was a continuous one.
He also called for all hands to be on deck towards decisive victory and reclaiming the public space from the criminal elements.