A landlord and two residents of Iba, Lagos, connived with suspected kidnappers to abduct the Oniba of Iba, Oba Goriola Oseni, for ransom, says a police officer.
According to the officer, the landlord and the two residents are well known to the monarch.
These suspects, who are already fielding questions from detectives attached to the Lagos State Police Command, Ikeja and operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), allegedly sold information concerning the layout of Oseni’s palace and security arrangement for money.
The landlord and the residents were mentioned by the overall leader of the kidnappers, identified as Duba Furejo (32) aka General Duba.
The three suspects were paid N800,000 out of the N15.1 million ransom for their roles.
The monarch was abducted from his palace on July 16 and rescued last Saturday.
It was gathered that while everyone was thinking the worst had happened to Oseni, the acting IG, Idris Ibrahim, was synergising with Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, to ensure the release of the Oba and arrest of the kidnappers.
Ibrahim was said to have sent operatives of the IRT to Lagos and detectives had worked round the clock to ensure the kidnappers were caught.
The detectives, using modern technology, tracked the kidnappers to Iyana School on Iba Road.
It was, however, discovered that the monarch, under heavy guards, was held captive in a makeshift shanty, built on top of water.
The detectives decided to keep surveillance at Iyana School area, on the shore of the river.
They knew it was only a matter of time before one of the kidnappers would come out. General Duba was the first to come out.
He walked into the hands of the detectives about 5p.m.
Realising the game was up, he mentioned the names of his members, including the three suspects who gave them information about Oseni.
The police officer said: “The suspects were arrested between Saturday and Sunday. One of them, who brought out the monarch from their den and left him on the water to paddle alone, was arrested moments after he left the Oba. The overall leader of the gang is with the police. His name is General Duba.
“Three others, who brought the job of the oba’s kidnap and collected N800,000, have also been arrested. One of them was arrested yesterday (on Sunday), as he was about to go to Ondo State. The overall leader and his second in command were both arrested. Isaiah Ododomu was the suspect who left the monarch on the water. General Duba went with them for the kidnap; but the second in command, was left at their base. They, however, shared the money together.”
Duba is a native of Arogbo Town in Ese Odo Local Government Area, Ondo State.
The police source added: “The kidnappers’ second in command, Ododomu (40), also from Arogbo Town, was apprehended about 6a.m. at Iyana-Ipaja Motor Park, where he was about to board a bus heading to Ondo State. He confessed to have participated in the kidnap of the Oba.
“He also mentioned Duba as his boss. According to him, they were 20 in the gang, all in the creeks. He said that only eight of them participated in the kidnapping of the oba.”
Ododomu confessed that he and Blessing, still hiding in the creek, brought the monarch to the shore and dropped him about 7p.m. on Saturday.
Although the monarch had been rescued, detectives are, however, still going ahead with their investigations.
It was learnt that they are going after other fleeing members of the gang.