A middle-aged man, Yahaya Ibrahim, from Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State, has narrated how armed men stormed his house late last year, abducted two of his children and herded them into the forest followed by intense negotiations for ransom.
He also said the mastermind of the kidnap was well known to the family and even visited them to partake in new year celebration even while his gang was still holding on to the children so as not to be suspected of involvement in the kidnap.
The distraught father described as shocking the discovery of the corpse of his six-year-old daughter with her head cut off.
On his part, the 23-year-old mastermind of the kidnap, Friday Domozu, who is currently being detained at the Abuja office of the Force Intelligence Response Team, IRT, disclosed that he and three of his friends from Nasarawa State, kidnapped the 6-year-old girl, Farida Yahaya and her 14-year-old brother Abdulraheem Ibrahim, because they wanted to extort money from their parents, who he said were well known to him.
He added that Ibrahim, however, escaped from their custody four days after he was kidnapped, leaving his sister behind.
Domozu, said he and his gang kept on calling Farida’s father for her ransom, even while she was dead and that he also visited the victim’s house during the new year celebration because he did not want members of their community to suspect him as the man behind the kidnapping.
He said he was shocked when operatives of the IRT, stormed his village and apprehended him as the mastermind, while the mobile phones used in negotiating the ransom were also recovered.
According to police sources, following the children’s abduction, their father, Yahaya Ibrahim, alerted the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, through a petition and operatives of the IRT, headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, were deployed to Basa area of Kogi State where they trailed and arrested Domozu who confessed to the crime.
In his confessions, Domozu, who is a native of Sheria community in Basa, area of Kogi state, said;
“I joined the military in 2020, I was amongst the batch 79 intake and we were sent to Zaria camp for training. I was not dismissed but withdrawn because of the accident that I had while in training.
“We organized a boxing competition in camp and I was one of the boxers. When it was my turn, the plank that we used to construct the boxing ring broke and my leg was injured.
“They rushed me to the hospital but the x-ray showed that my leg was no longer in good condition to be a military man. The rule was that if a recruit stayed away from training for five days such a person should be withdrawn.
“When I returned, I went into farming. I was in my village when some guys including someone well known to me came from Nassarawa and asked me to join them to pick one man who they said was owing them.
“I waited outside while the four of them with their AK47 rifles entered and came out with two children. We took them to Gabeji area inside the thick forest.
“We contacted their family and started asking for money if they wanted their children safely home. They told us that the small girl was a sickler and we asked them to hurry up if they wanted her home alive.
“We fed them with roasted yam, banana that we found in the forest and stream water.
“Unfortunately, on the fourth day, the boy escaped because the person watching him slept off. When we went to the forest to look for him, we found one man who was cutting wood who gave his name as Ibrahim Madaki.
“He challenged us saying he knew what we were doing in the bush. He claimed that he saw the boy and would report us if we refused to release the girl.
“We overpowered him, tied him up and called his boss to pay ransom if they wanted him alive.
“We took him back to the forest and the next day the girl died. She was shouting that her stomach was paining her, so we mixed some herbs and gave her to drink. Unfortunately, she died.
“We were still contemplating what to do when the man that we also abducted picked a machete and hit one of us on the head. We got angry and killed him.
“We picked the two corpses and dropped them by the stream. We all ran away but kept communicating with both families with hope that we could get small money. It was the boss of the man that sent N120,000” and N1.5million was collected from his relatives.
“I know the family of the kidnapped children very well because the community is very small. They even contributed for me when they heard I was going to Zaria for training. I had no reason to allow that to happen but those boys forced me.
“Even when the girl died, I was shocked. If I should tell the family those boys would kill me, that was why I had to continue visiting the community so that they would not suspect that I was part of the kidnap.
“I was surprised when police picked me and had so much information about my involvement. I had no choice but to confess. I am so sorry and I know that my fate is in God’s hand”.
While narrating how the kidnap took place, Yahaya Ibrahim, the father of the deceased girl said; “On November 2, 2020 at about 8pm, some hoodlums entered our compound, chased my family inside the room and grabbed two of them into the bush.
“The next day, they called me that they were kidnappers and I should bring N12m and we started negotiating. Luckily one of the children escaped after four days.
“He came back at about 5pm and they called that one of our children was with us. They stopped calling until several days later and when they called, we requested to hear from the girl if they wanted us to continue the negotiation.
They then asked for N8m and we kept begging until they reduced it to N4 million”.
“They switched off till Christmas after which they called that they needed money but we told them we had only N200,000. They said we should bring any amount that we had. We were surprised and insisted that they should allow us talk to my daughter.
“They then gave the phone to a small child of their tribe. I was able to decode that this was not our child. They took the phone and said that the child’s condition was bad and said that we should either bring the money or they would come in the evening.
“They said they had about seven AK47 rifles and they would finish the whole community. I told them we would be waiting for them that we were even fed up.
“So at this point, we decided to look for people to help us find these people dead or alive. They kept calling and even asked for N50,000. The operatives were able to get the leader of the gang and they told us that they had killed the child.
We went into the thick forest where we found what was left of my child. We discovered that they have cut off the head.
“Our homes are very close, even on new year day, the mastermind of the abduction came to drink beer before he went back, he is a very wicked man.
“They killed my daughter and removed the head. We thank God that the operatives were able to get them.
“If you see how he was moving about, you will not suspect him at all, we least suspected that he was the mastermind, we know him very well”.
In his own testimony, Abdulraheem, who escaped from the kidnappers’ den said; “After eating at about 8 pm, two persons entered our compound while two persons were at the exit gate. Another two were at the community secondary school close to our house.
I tried to escape with my stepmother but the ones at the exit gate caught me. They were carrying gun and took me and my sister Farida. We trekked throughout the night till around 4 am.
They carried my sister. When we got there, they tied my hands and legs and also blocked my eyes in the morning so that I could not see them. In the morning they released my hand and leg to enable me eat.
In the evening, they asked me if they untied me whether I would run away and I told them no and they untied me. On the fourth day after we finished eating, five of them left and left us with the one guarding us. He slept off and I now escaped.
“I ran to the nearest village where I saw a house and went there, I saw a woman and she took me to their king. The king now called my father because he knew my father.
The kidnappers fed us with yam. My sister was complaining about stomach pain and they cut one leaf and gave her to drink. It stopped at that point.
“She was still alive when I escaped. One of the kidnappers used to come to our village in my friend’s house and my parents. He wore facemask so that I would not recognize him but I did.”
Vanguard News Nigeria