A band of kidnappers was apprehended by the police in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, recently. It turned out that they were people that had been helped by the husband of their victim. The abductors and one of the hostages spoke to AKINWALE ABORISADE
Man’s closest acquaintance can, indeed, be his greatest enemy. This axiom came to the
fore recently in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, when, like the biblical Cain and Abel, some kinsmen hatched an evil plan against family members of one of their own.
The evil plotters, report indicates, are Busuyi Oyebanji and his cousin, Babatunde Oluwasanmi. The two are kinsmen to Mr. Busayo Adeniji, a native of Ilare-Ijesa, Osun State, whose family they attacked recently. According to police report, they instigated men of the underworld to rob and abduct some members of Adeniji‘s family living at Elebu area of Oluyole Estate extension in Ibadan.
Adeniji works in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State,s and only visits his family occasionally. At about 8:30pm on Monday, November 15, his wife Mrs. Bisola Adeniji, his children: Iyanuoluwa and Enoch, and Busayo‘s sales girl, Tayo Salami, had just returned from the shop. Salami disembarked from her mistress‘ car and was about to leave for her home when a three-man robbery gang lurking in the compound swooped on them.
The men, allegedly brandishing dangerous metallic objects that looked like guns, ordered their hostages into the house. They demanded money and other valuables, but Bisola told them that she did not have much money at home. They ordered her and other captives into a silver coloured jeep belonging to the family and were all driven away. Nobody in the neighbourhood was aware of what happened.
But, shortly after the incident, the head of the family, who lives in far away Port Harcourt, sensed that something had gone wrong in the home after he called his wife‘s number and got no response. Whenever his wife missed his call, he said, she would return the call once she saw it before going to sleep, but this time, Adeniji did not get even a beep. He thus became apprehensive. He called his pastor in Ibadan to help him find out what went wrong.
The cleric‘s findings further unsettled him. He informed Adeniji that the house was deserted and that the gate was left wide open. One of Busayo‘s sales girls who lives in other part of the city confirmed that the woman and her children and another shop assistant left for home that night at about 8pm.
The mystery behind their disappearance was unravelled when a group of abductors later informed Adeniji that they were holding his family hostage. They demanded a ransom of N100m as a precondition for securing their release.
One of her neighbours and the pastor reported the matter at the Oluyole Police Station, Ibadan. A crack team of policemen from the State Anti Robbery Squad, Dugbe, launched an investigation around 7:30 am the following day.
The Commissioner of Police, Oyo State Command, Mr. Baba Adisa Bolanta, during a press briefing said, ”A call later came on one of the neighbour‘s phones from Mr. Adeniji that he had received a phone call from unknown persons who told him that his wife, their two children and the sales girl had been kidnapped, and that hoodlums demanded N100m ransom before they would be released.”
The police later found the vehicle at Plot 11, Road L, Olubadan Estate, Alakia, with the aid of the tracker mechanism on the family‘s Land Rover Discovery Jeep in which they were abducted.
A couple, Mr. and Mrs. Adeleke Adebayo, living within the compound where the vehicle was parked, were arrested for interrogation. Mr. Adebayo confessed that his friend, Ogunsuyi, drove the vehicle to their residence and had since abandoned it there.
He led the police to Ogunsuyi‘s house at Oju Irin, Akobo area of Ibadan. There, the police made a staggering discovery: The hostages were found in the isolated house. Having sensed that the police were around, the abductors hid themselves in the roof of the house. Some of them were later apprehended.
They are Oyebanji, Oluwasanmi and Tope Ogunsuyi. Adebayo and his wife Esther were arrested as accomplices in the kidnap case.
Items recovered from the hoodlums are a Land Rover Discovery Jeep, an L-shaped silver coloured pipe wrapped with a handkerchief which was used as a gun, the victim‘s jewellery, dresses, children‘s shoes and some charms.
According to Busayo, the experience was nightmarish. She said, ”We got to the house around 8:30pm on Monday after closing from the shop. As we alighted from the car and headed for the house, the men (the kidnappers) pushed us back. The three of them were already inside the house; they blindfolded us and took four of us, including my baby boy, away. When they removed the blindfold, I begged them to let me speak with my husband. They said we would pay N100m, and I told them we didn‘t have such money. The men took my ATM card, got my pin number and went to withdraw N160,000 from my account. They also took almost N158,000 cash that we made at the shop that day. They did not maltreat me. They were only threatening. I did not know any of those that were with us until they were arrested.”
She said it was difficult for her to believe that Oyebanji and his cousin Oluwasanmi could be this mischievous. She explained that the two of them came to her shop the previous week purportedly to buy some items, but they left without buying anything.
Busayo, who said her husband always assisted Oyebanji financially, explained, ”My husband gave him some money for his wife‘s caesarean section two weeks ago when she was about to put to bed. My daughter was their little bride during their wedding two years ago.”
Oyebanji exonerated Adebayo from the crime, adding, ”The rest of us planned it together.” He however did not say why he did it. He confirmed that the Adenijis were nice and had always helped him. Oluwasanmi said his cousin, Oyebanji, sold the idea to him and he agreed to it.
Adebayo told our correspondent that he met Ogunsuyi, (one of the bandits) two years ago when the man had an accident. He said, ”I took him to the hospital for treatment and we have since become friends. He kept visiting my house. I saw the car parked in my house on Tuesday. I was not around when he brought it, but my children told me that Ogunsuyi brought it. I asked him about it on the telephone and I told him to come and pick it. When he refused, I reported to the police.”
The police said investigation was still on to track down other members of the gang. In the meantime, the CP said the suspects would be charged to court.
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