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Bandits Demamd N100m Ransom For Release Of Abducted ASPs

Valentine Chinyem

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The sum of N100 million has been by bandits, as the required ransom for the freedom of six Assistant Superintendents of Police, they kidnapped in Katsina some days ago.

The ASPs according to The PUNCH, were among the nine who were newly promoted to their current rank.

More so, the officers were said to be attached to the Mobile Police Squadron 6, Maiduguri, Borno State, before they were demobilised from the riot unit and transferred to the Zamfara State Police Command, when the the vehicle they were travelling in was ambushed in the Dogondaji area of Katsina State.

A police source revealed that the nine ASPs were still on the verge of leaving for their new duty post in Zamfara State, when one of them changed his mind at the last minute with promise to join them later. The rest embarked on the trip without him in a commercial bus.

However, on getting to Kano, the driver of the commericial bus was said to have asked them to join another vehicle as his bus had developed a fault.

“When they were released to go to Zamfara, they scheduled a day for the trip from Maiduguri, but one of them said he wasn’t comfortable with the trip and declined to join them. He said he had something to do and promised to join them in Zamfara later,” the source said.

“So, the eight others left, but on getting to Kano, the driver said he couldn’t continue the journey to Zamfara, because his vehicle had developed a fault. They joined another vehicle and on their way around Dongodaji in Katsina State, the bandits accosted and kidnapped them.

“While being taken away, two of them escaped and one of them was shot in the leg though he didn’t die. He found himself at a village and the villagers took him to a police station and he was taken to a hospital. The other six officers are still with the bandits who are demanding N100m ransom.”

Another source, a senior police officer added that the Commander, Mopol 6, could not account for the abducted officers when asked about the incident, noting that he directed the question to the Zamfara State Police Command.

According to him, the standard procedure was for the commander to send a signal to the Zamfara command informing it that he had released the nine ASPs, but he allegedly failed to follow the official procedure.

“The problem came from the Commander, Mopol 6, their former squadron leader, who released them on transfer to Zamfara. He was supposed to relay the information on the kidnap incident, but he said he didn’t know about it when he was asked; instead, he referred inquiries to the Zamfara State Police Command.

“The commander should have sent a signal that the men had been released to go to Zamfara, but he didn’t do that. Normally, the Zamfara command would send a signal to Borno confirming that the men had resumed,” he added.

Families are however said to be making efforts to raise N3m for the release of the captives at N500,000 each.