By Tola Gbadamosi
No fewer than nine kidnappers were arrested by Ondo State Security Network otherwise known as Amotekun Corps last week in Akoko area of the state.
Parading 31 crime suspects on Monday at the formation’s headquarters at Alagbaka, Akure, the state capital, the Corps Commander, Akogun Adetunji Adeleye disclosed that the kidnappers abducted one Bello Audu at his residence in Akunnu-Akoko, Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State and took him to the forest.
“When Amotekun got wind of the incident, they disguised as members of the family of the victim and took the ransom demanded by the kidnappers to them in their hideout.
At the point of collecting the ransom, three among the armed kidnappers who came to collect the ransom were arrested.
Their arrest led to the arrest of other six members of the gang at different locations in the state.”
Revealing his experience in the den of his abductors, Bello, a farmer, said he was observing the 7:00pm Muslim prayer at his residence in Akunnu-Akoko when about six armed men suddenly came and flogged him with a stick and ordered him to follow them the forest.
He told newsmen that he was fed with small quantity of garri flakes without offering him water for five days before he was rescued by Amotekun Corps.
Bello, who is from Olorun, Kwara State, said: “I was in my house observing the 7:00pm prayer as a Muslim, when suddenly some men numbering about six walked up to me on the mat and flogged me with a stick.
“Some of them were carrying guns and the asked me to follow them. They from my house led me to the forest.
“They later contacted my family asking for ransom so that they could release me from their hideout.
“While in their hideout for five days, they offered me small garri to eat. They didn’t give me water throughout. Though I didn’t see them eat.
“I was later rescued from them by men of the Amotekun Corps when they wanted to collect the ransom brought for them for my release.
“They were all arrested there by Amotekun Corps.”
Meanwhile, some suspected criminals were arrested for stealing cable and wires at Ode-Irele in Irele Local Government Area and other different locations during the raid across the 18 local government areas of the state in the last one week by Amotekun Corps.
A 16-year-old boy, who was arrested for illegal possession of firearms when he was 13 and sent to juvenile home, was also arrested for burglary and stealing.
He claimed to be overwhelmed by evil spirit that motivates him to steal.
During the raid, a 6-man syndicate that deals in stealing and buying stolen goats was arrested with two taxi cabs loaded with goats.
The suspects, among who was a woman, claimed that they didn’t steal the goats despite their inability to explain how they came about the goats.
Some other suspects were arrested for snatching and stealing motorbikes from unsuspecting owners at different towns in the state.
They usually take the bikes to neighbouring states to sell to their receivers.
Meanwhile, the Amotekun Corps Commander disclosed that in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, they are embarking on flushing criminals out of the forests in the state.
He said: “We have discovered that kidnappers have left towns and take refuge in the forests.
“So, in collaboration with other security agencies in the state, we are embarking of flushing our forests of unscrupulous elements who kidnap people on the roadside and flee back into the forest.
“Criminals must leave our state and allow people going about their legitimate businesses to have peace of mind.”