By Abiodun OBA
An Ex-convict, Usman Garuba, has been arrested after abducting nine persons and collecting ransom at Ala/ Dada Ago Oyinbo, in Akure North council area of the state by the Ondo state security outfit, codenamed, Amotekun.
The state Commander of Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, paraded Garuba, a 72-year-old informant, Suleman Abubakar, alongside 60 others in Akure.
Adeleye disclosed the suspects were arrested across the 18 local government areas and Local Council Development Areas LCDAs in the state for alleged kidnapping and other crimes.
Adeleye added that “Usman Garuba, was arrested around Ala/Dada/ Ago-Oyinbo axis. Akure North. He successfully kidnapped over nine people and collected ransom.
“At a point in one of the villages, because they attempted to fight him, he led five other people back there at night and burnt down the whole village. So, we have him in our custody and he’s also an ex-convict.
However, when villagers in one of the communities along his axis of operations resisted him, Garuba returned at midnight with his gang, razed shelters in sight, and fled.
Acting on a tip-off, men of Amotekun Corps stormed Garuba’s hide-out and arrested him with five other members of the gang.
Reportedly found in their possession were single barrel guns, bullets, amulets, money received as ransom, food items including a half bag of beans, rice, some loaves of bread, rolls of cigarettes and other consumable items.
When profiled, it was discovered that Garuba and two members of his gang had been convicted and jailed twice.
Speaking on the 72-year-old Suleman Abubakar, the Amotekun Chief said “he was employed as a security man, in an establishment. What he did was to give out the information of his boss to the kidnappers who came to kidnap him, and he was communicating with them.
“When we arrested him, we perused his phone and found out that he had contacts with the same number they were using to negotiate. So, he gives information to kidnappers.
Adeleye said that arrest of the suspected criminals across the state, “arose from distress calls received, surveillance activities of Amotekun men and all the security agencies in the state, inclusive of the police, the Civil Defense, the DSS and the Army, in various joint operations.
“This ember month patrol is strategic as we are determined to guarantee the safety of lives and property in Ondo State and for those passing through the highways of the state.
“Across the board, we were able to track down about 15 suspected kidnappers.
“Some of them with guns they use, the money received as part of the ransom and all they told those coming to pay ransom to bring along with the money.
“We have cigarettes, bread from Osogbo and another one from Ilorin because they gave them terms of how to package the ransom.
The Amotekun commander added “We equally have some suspected kidnappers residing in and terrorizing the Elegbeka axis.
“We have today, some armed robbers that were actually caught in the act in Akure metropolis and those that specialize in breaking shops.
“We have another group that breaks into people’s houses during church service when they know that they would have gone out and we have those that steal goats.
Adeleye said that “there is no hiding place for criminals in Ondo State because they will be caught. Therefore, they should leave the State.
He thanked members of the public for their support, timely and quality information.
The security chief encouraged them to do more with an assurance that the security agencies in the state “would guarantee safety of lives and properties, especially during this yuletide period.”