The Plateau State Police Command has arrested a 60-year-old serial kidnapper, Usman Abubakar, and his 20-year-old son, Ishaku Usman, who specialized in kidnapping high-profile people in the country for ransom. He adopted the uncharitable business as his source of livelihood after realizing how lucrative it was.
Abubakar found it most convenient to recruit even his only son into the distasteful activity, thereby making it a family venture. He inflicted pain and agony on innocent Nigerians who got into his custody for no reason.
The kidnappers, who hail from Dorowan Maitimbi village in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, were nabbed in Plateau State for their nefarious activities.
It was gathered that, apart from kidnapping, the suspected bandits also hire firearms to other criminal elements for operations. They confessed that they have been hiring firearms to their neighbours for rearing of cows and not for kidnapping operations.
Sadly, the duo met their Waterloo recently when the anti-kidnapping unit of the Plateau State Police Command bursted their hideout and arrested the syndicate in possession of firearms, while some of the conspirators who fled from the scene are still at large.
Police public relations officer, Alfred Alabo, who paraded the suspects for kidnapping, armed robbery and illegal possession of firearms, said they would be arraigned at the end of investigation.
He said: “The 60-year-old Usman Abubakar and his son, Ishaku Usman, were arrested for possession of prohibited firearms, armed robbery and kidnapping. Usman gives out firearms to his son who also rents them out to kidnappers.”
However, Usman Abubakar said: “I am not a kidnapper; I have never kidnapped anybody but have a rifle that we rent out to people for protection of their cows. This is what we have been doing for a long period of time for survival.
“I do the business with my son, he knows those who are interested in using the gun and he is the one who hires out the rifle and collects it back. There are occasions we collect N5,000 for a day sometimes N10,000, depending on how it would be used and how long it would be in their possession.”
Ishaku Usman, who spoke in police custody, corroborated his father on renting and hiring of rifles for external operations but denied that he was a kidnapper.
He said: “I have never kidnapped anybody but I collect firearms from my father for hiring. I have been doing this business for long. They use the rifles while rearing their cattle for protection.”
One of the suspects, Ali Musa, admitted that he had been hiring rifles from Ishaku Usman, but not for kidnapping activities. He claimed that he used the firearms to protect himself and his cattle from rustlers as they move from one location to another.
Ali, who made efforts to flee the scene of arrest, was shot in one of his legs, which led to his arrest by the police while two of his colleagues escaped.
“I was arrested because I hired their rifle. I was told to come and collect another one when I saw security operatives around me. I attempted to escape but I was shot in one of my legs and some of my members fled,” he said.
Alabo said the police would make Plateau uninhabitable for all criminal activities. He insisted that there would be no hiding place for kidnappers, gunrunners and other criminal elements in the state.