By Olajide Idowu
The Osun State Police Command on Saturday said it has arrested eight suspected members of a kidnap syndicate who relocated to hide in the state after operating in Benue.
SP Yemisi Opalola, the command’s spokesperson, said in a statement that the suspects were arrested on Friday at Omo Ijesa village, following credible intelligence reports.
Opalola further said that when interrogated, the suspects confessed to have killed their last victim, one Mrs Akiishi Catherine, 65, and three others in their previous operations.
“The suspects were arrested on May 7, sequel to credible intelligence the command received and acted upon in a follow-up on a case of the kidnap of a 65-year-old, Mrs Akiishi Catherine in Benue State.
“The operation was led by the Commissioner of Police in Osun, Olawale Olokode.
“Prior to the arrest, Police investigations revealed that the suspects relocated to Osun after the kidnap of the woman as a deceptive tactic to avoid arrest by the Police in Benue.
“The suspects have also planned to use Osun as a safe haven for the negotiation and collection of ransom even after murdering the woman in cold blood,’’ the spokesperson said.
He said that the suspects, who were between 18 and 25 years old, had allegedly confessed to killing their last victim and three others.
“The suspects will be handed over to the Benue Police Command as soon as preliminary investigations are concluded’’, he said.
He said that the commissioner of police, Olokode, had commended police personnel involved in the successful operation.
Olokode reassured citizens that there would be no hiding place for criminals in the state.
He noted that the new policing vision of the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, was already assisting the command in redefining its strategies toward combating crimes in the state.
The commissioner called on citizens to support and collaborate with the police to rid the state of criminal elements threatening the peace, security and safety of the people.