Operatives of the Ondo State Police Command have arrested three suspects in connection with the abduction of Alhaji Ibrahim Bodunde, the Chief Imam of Uso in Owo Local Government Area of the state.
The 67-year-old Chief Imam was abducted by the suspects at his farm located at Asolo camp. He was released after N2m was paid by the community.
The three suspects include 40-year-old Isah Bello, his daughter, 20-year-old Aisha Bello, and her 19-year-old boyfriend, Muinah Mohammed, were arrested through intelligence gathering.
The suspects were paraded at the command’s headquarters in Akure on Tuesday, July 4, 2023.
Briefing newsmen, the Spokesperson of the command, Funmi Odunlami, explained that the three suspects were tracked through the telephone used in negotiating for ransom for the release of the Chief Imam.
According to the PPRO, Aisha Bello gave her father’s old SIM to her boyfriend, who used it to negotiate with the family of the victim, while the young lady had no inkling of what her boyfriend used the SIM for.
The Police image maker, however, said other suspects who perpetrated the criminal activity had left the community but assured that they will be arrested soon.
“On the 18th of June, 2023, one Mrs Bodunde, around 6 pm, went to the Uso division to complain that her husband, Alli Ibrahim Bodunde, went to the farm and he was supposed to come back around 2 pm but unfortunately, when they did not see him, they sent two persons to the farm in order to look for him,” she stated.
“When they got to the farm, they met his car and his mobile phone, but they could not see him. And immediately the case was reported, the police swung into action, and at the end of the day, the man was released.
“But in the cause of the investigation, we realized that the man in question is the Chief Imam of the Uso community, and through our intelligence team, we were able to arrest the suspects, and at the end of the investigations, the suspects will be charged to court.”
Narrating his experience at the hand of his abductors, the Chief Imam, Alhaji Bodunde, said he was made to trek for six hours in the bush while he was beaten for his inability to speak English language during his interrogation by the suspected kidnappers.
He said his family negotiated the ransom paid from N10m to N2m before he was released by the suspected kidnappers saying he was not given food or water for 48 hours during his stay at the den of the kidnappers.
According to him, his abductors had information about him as they reeled out his dossier to him but said they were unable to collect his phone because they couldn’t find where he kept it.
He said his abductors tied his hands and legs to a tree while the leader of the kidnap syndicate, who joined them from his hideout, negotiated with the family members.
Bodunde disclosed that his abductors demanded N10m ransom for his release, but eventually, his family paid N2m before they led him back to his farm and released him.