Sunday, 6 January 2013

An Unholy alliance: ‘pastor’and ‘Imam’ formed kidnap gang

Seun Ogunmusuru was popularly called pastor by those who know him in Ilesa, Osun State, while Hammed Adewumi is said to be an Islamic cleric who was leading a congregation as an Imam in Ibadan, but if one would go by the allegation of kidnapping that is currently against them at the Osun State Police Command and the confessional statements they had made to the police, then the duo would need to do a lot to convince people that they were indeed working for God.

Ogunmusuru and Adewumi are currently with detectives at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Osogbo where they had been undergoing interrogations on their alleged criminal activities. The duo and others at large had allegedly been terrorizing residents of different towns in Osun State by kidnapping them and collecting ransom.

Sunday Tribune learnt that Ogunmusuru was arrested at Ijebu-Jesa on December 14 while Adewumi was nabbed on Saturday, December 22 in his boutique at Academy area of Ibadan after the police had been on their trail for some time. Their arrest was reportedly made possible by the confessional statement of a suspected gang member, Supo Bamidele who was earlier arrested. Bamidele’s case had been charged to court while his case was adjourned till January 31, 2013 for further hearing.

Before the arrest, Sunday Tribune learnt that residents of Osogbo, Ile-Ife, Ilesa, Modakeke, Ekiti, Ibadan and some other commercial cities in the South West had sent Save-Our-Soul (SOS) messages to the Osun State Police Commissioner, Mrs Kalafite Adeyemi to come to their rescue with a view to bringing an end to the activities of Adewumi and his gang which had allegedly carried out several kidnap operations.

In an interview with Sunday Tribune, Ogunmusuru, a 25-year-old Ilesa, Osun State indigene said he used to work as a labourer before he met a member of the kidnap gang who is still at large. “I met Ifeoluwa in Akure around May or June 2012 when I went there to work. He was an okada rider and he picked me. When I wanted to disembark, I gave him money but he refused to collect it from me. I asked him why but he said I should not worry. I appreciated him and asked for his number. He gave me and I used to call him from time to time if I was broke.
“Later, I told him of what I was going through and informed him that the person I was staying with had pressurised me to leave. That was how he told me that he had a room at Ilesa, asking whether I could manage it. I said I would appreciate it if he could give me. He gave me the key to the place and I started staying there.

“He also rented an apartment at Ijebu-jesa, in Osun State. One day, I asked him where he was but he replied that he was not around. However, I guessed he was at his apartment at Ijebu-Jesa so I went there. I asked of him from his friends whom I met there but they said he was not around. I sat with them in the sitting room to watch film. After a while, I went to the toilet to ease myself and on my way back, I saw shoes by the door of his room. I opened the door and saw two of his friends and a stranger. They asked me to help them stay with the stranger.
“I stayed with them for some days after which they told me to go back to Ilesa as they wanted to go somewhere. Later in the evening, they came to me in Ilesa. Ifeoluwa was with them. He then told me that there was more to the man I saw in the morning, that they wanted to collect some money from him. Ifeoluwa didn’t say directly that they kidnapped him. He said they had collected the money and had returned him. They said that since I was not part of the initial plan, they would give me N100,000 to enjoy myself. Since then, I have been with them.

“Another night, they called me that we should go out. We went on a bike. They warned me that I should calm down and not shout when we get there. We went to an area in Ilesa around 12 midnight and kidnapped a boy. The boy called Wole was taken to Ijebu-Jesa and Yinusa, Dada and I used to stay with him. He spent about a week before he was released. I was told that the gang collected N1.5million as ransom amd I was given N150,000.

“On the day I was arrested, I was on the bike with Dada on our way to Ijebu-Jesa when policemen stopped us.
“On the day we went to pick Wole, we did not take any gun with us but the gang saw a gun in the boy’s house and they picked it. Those I knew as gang members were Dada, Ifeoluwa, Yinusa and Afaa omo Okene. I have never worked with Hammed directly but we had met before at Ifeoluwa’s place. I knew him as Ifeoluwa’s friend.”

A locally-made gun was said to have been recovered in the house of another suspected gang member, Ifeoluwa, who is currently on the run.

Items recovered from Adewumi during a search of his house included one tiny gourd and a leather charm. Seven motorcycles allegedly belonging to Ifeoluwa, Yinusa and Adedeji Dada were also recovered in Ilesa.

It was gathered that before he was subdued by police detectives, Adewumi tried to swallow the tiny gourd and made another attempt to hit one of the policemen who went to arrest him with the leather charm. He reportedly told the police that it was God who arrested him as they were not strong enough to do so. He also rhetorically asked himself how he could be arrested so easily.

The gang had kidnapped one Ogundoyin Popoola a.k.a ‘popular’ in Ife. Unconfirmed reports had it that his wife paid N10 million before he was released. They also abducted one Wole Komolafe, son of one Sunday Komolafe who had before the kidnap of his son received a threat letter pasted on his uncompleted building. The kidnappers asked him to pay the sum of N40 million. It was gathered however that before the kidnappers abducted their victim, his father did not report the issue of the threat letter to the police.

Again, one Alhaji Kayode Adenuga popularly called Igi-nla (big tree) was kidnapped by the gang on June 14, 2012 while one Olanrewaju Oladipo was also abducted by same syndicate on September 29, 2012.

On October 29, 2012, Adewumi, who ran a big boutique at Academy area of Ibadan, and his gang allegedly kidnapped one Evangelist Olajide John while Alhaji Akeem Sulaiman, a building material trader was also abducted by the same syndicate.
It was however gathered that Adewumi had admitted the kidnap of ‘Popular’ only.
Investigations are still ongoing

culled from the tribune

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