Ondo State Police Command on Thursday arraigned the five suspected kidnappers of former Secretary to the Federal Government, Chief Olu Falae, before an Akure High Court.
The arraignment followed the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase’s order to transfer the suspects to Ondo State where they allegedly committed the crime, to face criminal charges.
They were brought before Justice William Rotimi Olamide of the Ondo State High Court in Akure, who eventually adjourned the case till November 10, 2015.
The five suspects: Bello Jannu, Musahudu Muhammed, Abubakar Auta, Idris Lawan and Umar Ibrahim pleaded not guilty to the five count charges read out to them in court.
The charges border on “procuring or counseling another for the purpose of kidnapping and abducting, aiding and abetting, kidnapping, conspiracy and armed robbery.”
Among the charges are that the suspects 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 and did aid abduction of Falae. They were also charged for not releasing Falae until N5,000,000 ransom was paid.
The suspects were further charged for conspiring to commit a felony to wit armed robbery; and robbing 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; 5(1) (a) and 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.
Three of the five suspects, namely: Umar, Lawan and Bello admitted to committing the crime and sharing N100, 000 each out of the ransom paid for the release of Falae. They, through the aid of an interpreter at the court premises, confessed that the remaining money was carted away by their leader, identified as Baba Uro, who is now at large.
Ibrahim and Lawan, who visibly do not understand English Language, denied any connection with the Boko-Haram terror sect but claimed they were recruited by a suspect who is now at large.
The Presiding Judge, Olamide, ordered that the five suspects be remanded at the Olokuta Maximum Prison till next hearing of the matter in November.