The police yesterday disclosed that ‘high-profile suspects’ had been arrested in connection with the kidnap of pupils and employees of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges (NITIC) in Isheri area of Ogun State.
This was disclosed by the Ogun State Police Commissioner, Mr. Ahmed Iliyasu, when he led the victims, the managing director of the school, Mr. Orhan Kertim and others on a visit to the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun at his Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta office.
The eight victims were kidnapped from the school on Friday, January 13 and were released by their abductors on Tuesday night.
“With the deployment of the technically-driven team of intelligence response system of the Inspector General of Police yesterday, the miscreants behind this incident caved in and eight of them were rescued,” Iliyasu stated.
Managing Director of the school, Kertim, thanked President Mohammadu Buhari, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, all the security agencies, as well as those who assisted in getting the victims released. “It was a very difficult time for all of us. For 11 days, there were not only sleepless nights and hopes but also prayers and we never lost hope.”
Deputy Managing Director of The Sun Newspaper, Mr. Steve Nwosu, who is a parent of one of the victims, in his brief remark, said: “We were all in this together and we are very happy as parents that the nightmare has ended.”
The governor assured that schools in the state would henceforth have security mapping and tracking installations to prevent possible reoccurrence.
“I know paramilitary agencies were involved; even our local vigilance group and our Baales (village heads) but let me say that we are reviewing things and I’m sure that we will soon call a meeting. What we are putting in place is to do some kind of mapping/tracking.”
Also, in an interaction with newsmen in Lagos yesterday, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone II, Kayode Aderanti, confirmed the arrest of one of the kidnap suspect but denied knowledge of the payment of a N50 million ransom, insisting that the kidnappers succumbed to superior pressure from the police.
Aderanti said they gave up after they realised that their identities were known by policemen, adding that some of their relatives were held to pressure them into releasing the victims.
Although Aderanti declined to give further details on the arrest, it was gathered that the suspect was picked in Lagos as soon as he fled the creek where the victims were held. The Guardian gathered that the suspect had in his possession some of the ransom paid by parents and relatives of the victims.
“The victims were taken to a hospital in Ikeja. All the victims are in good health and the school management on Wednesday took them to meet with the Ogun State governor. It is complete falsehood to say the police didn’t do anything to rescue the victims. It is wrong for anyone to say the police took glory for what it didn’t do. We were working day and night and so many relatives of the kidnappers were held to mount pressure on the abductors to release the victims,” he said.