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Arraigned Abductors of Olu Falae, Denies Being Members of Boko Haram

Valentine Chinyem

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Suspected abductors of Chief Olu Falae, a former Secretary General of the Federation (SGF), have denied being members of the terrorist sect, Boko Haram.

Five of the suspects, Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibrahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal were arraigned yesterday at the Ondo State High Court, sitting in Akure, the state capital.

They were arrested by Police Special Intelligence Response Team (PSIRT), from Abuja at different locations.

Police charge sheet claimed that Auta was arrested from Niger State, Ibrahim, Ondo State while Muhammed, Lawan and Tanu were nabbed in Ekiti State.

More so, three of the five suspects confessed to journalists, before they were arraigned, that they were involved in the abduction of Falae.

Umaru, Idris and Muhammed, who spoke in Hausa language but interpreted in English by a security operative, disclosed that they were given N100,000 each. They disclosed further that eight of them took part in the abduction of the former Minister of Finance.

Claiming they do not know the ring leader of the group, that they normally speak with him on phone and from which he gives them instructions on what to do. Ibrahim confirmed that he is a resident of Akure but refused to disclose his occupation.

It was learnt that Auta, who is one of the kidnapping leaders, was caught with N823,990 as well as his car in Niger State. Auta was said to have played an intermediary role between those who kidnapped Falae from his farm at Ilado in Akure North Local Government Area and the ring leader, who is still at large.

A police source revealed that two of the suspects, Usman Kato and Babawuro, recently paraded by the Department of State Service, DSS, in Abuja were among the eight kidnappers who took part in the operation. All the suspects pleaded not guilty when the charge sheet was read and interpreted to them.

The charge sheet read: “That you, Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed, Idris Lawal and others now at large, on or about Monday 21st September, 2015 at Kajola/ Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did give information for the purpose of kidnapping and abducting Chief Samuel Oluyemi Falae.

“Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal, and others now at large, on or about Monday 21st September, 2015 at Kajola/ Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did aid the kidnapping and abduction of Chief Samuel Oluyemi Falae.

“Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal, and others now at large, on or about Monday 21st September, 2015 at Kajola/ Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did Kidnapped Chief Oluyemi Falae, the Former Secretary to the Federation Government of Nigeria and did not release him until N5,000,000 ransom was paid.

“Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal, and others now at large, on or about Monday 21st September, 2015 at Kajola/ Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did conspire to commit a felony to wit armed robbery.

“Abubakar Auta, Bello Jannu, Umaru Ibarahim, Masahudu Muhammed and Idris Lawal, and others now at large, on or about Monday 21st September, 2015 at Kajola/ Eyinala Community in Akure Judicial Division did rob Chief Olu Falae of N15, 000 and his handset while armed with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapon.”

The offences, according to the prosecution, are contrary to section 2 of Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law, 5(1) (a) of the Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Laws, Section 3(11)(b) of the Anti-Kidnapping and Abduction Law, Section 6(b) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Cap R11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 1(2)(a) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Cap R11, Vol. 14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, respectively.

The presiding judge, Justice William Rotimi Olamide, however, ordered that the suspects be remanded at Olokuta prison and adjourned the matter.