The Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team has apprehended two members of a kidnap cum robbery gang and two of their informants, Sunana Douglass and Jordan Laguma.
Douglass, 43, was said to have conspired with the gang operating in the Shadam Local Government Area of Plateau State to kidnap his friend and benefactor identified simply as Dandong.
He allegedly received N1m as his share from N15m ransom the kidnappers collected from the victim, who was said to have two filling stations in the state.
It was gathered that the detectives went after the suspects following a petition addressed to the acting IGP, Mohammed Adamu, sometime in February 2019.
The two other arrested suspects are identified as Namoo Damsu and Matthew Kwane. The four suspects, it was learnt, hail from Shadam LGA.
According to the police, the gang had earlier kidnapped one Dipdat, a businessman from the community, through the information provided by Laguma, who also got N1m as his share after a ransom was paid.
However, Douglass claimed Kwane had requested information about Dandong from him on the pretext that he (Kwane) wanted to buy a large quantity of diesel from the man.
He said he only became aware of the kidnap plot on the day Dandong was abducted, adding that he collected the N1m as his share from Kwane because he was broke.
He said, “Matthew (Kwane) approached me and sought information about Dandong, who is my friend and benefactor. He told me that he wanted to buy diesel from him. Dandong has two filling stations and Matthew has a big generating set that uses diesel. He said he wanted someone to supply diesel to him to fuel his generator. I gave him information about Dandong, believing he wanted to do business with the man. I didn’t know that he was planning to kidnap him. I gave Matthew the man’s location on the day he was kidnapped, but I didn’t know he was coming to kidnap him.
“After the man had been kidnapped, Matthew brought N1m to me and I accepted it because I needed money to solve some of my problems. Sincerely, I didn’t know Matthew was planning to kidnap Dandong who has assisted me a lot. He gave me money to buy fertiliser. After I was arrested, I led the police to Matthew’s house.”
Also, Laguma explained that Kwane had asked him to monitor Dipdat’s movements, but he declined the request.
The father of five, however, said he was aware of the kidnap and admitted to have got N1m from Kwane.
He said, “The only dealing I had with Matthew was when he came to me and asked about a businessman known as Dipdat, who has filling stations in my area. He asked me to monitor the man’s movements and pass the information on to him. I refused because I had heard terrible things about Matthew. After then, I travelled out of the state and when the businessman was eventually kidnapped and released, Matthew sent N1m to me through a man, who I don’t know.”
Explaining his journey to becoming a kidnapper, 29-year-old Kwane told City Round that he had carried out operations with his accomplices, who are still at large, in Plateau and Taraba states.
He said, “I am a primary school dropout because my parents are poor. I couldn’t feed myself. I stole a motorcycle and was arrested and sent to prison. After I was released in February 2018, I met Umaru, who reared cows in my community. He asked me to join his robbery gang and I accepted because I had no job.
“We were a gang of eight members. We went to rob traders in Taraba State and attacked people returning from the market. In my first operation with the gang, we attacked so many traders and I was given N60,000 as my share.”
“I invited the gang to my community (Shadam) and we kidnapped a rich businessman, Dipdat, who lives within the community. I pointed his house to my gang members, but I didn’t go with them to kidnap him. They took the man away on a motorcycle into a bush in Bauchi State. Three days later, they called me and gave me N1.5m. I sought the information about the man from Jordan (Laguma). I told Umaru that we had to give Jordan some money and he sent N1m to him.”
While admitting to kidnapping Dandong, Kwane dismissed Douglass’ claim that he was not aware of the plan to kidnap the businessman.
He said he approached Douglass in November 2018 to get information about Dandong with a promise to reward him handsomely if the kidnap was successful.
He stated, “Douglass was close to Dandong, who has two filling stations in our area. I told him I wanted to kidnap the man. I requested some information about the man’s movements and I promised to reward him handsomely if I got the information I needed. One week after our conversation, Douglass called and informed me that he was with the man and that I should come with my gang members.
“I called Umaru and we kidnapped the man. We took him to Taraba State and kept him there for three days. His family paid a ransom of N15m. I got N2.5m while Douglass was given N1.2m.”