Men of the Ondo State Security Network Agency, codenamed Amotekun, have arrested nine suspected kidnappers in various locations across the Akoko area of the state.
The State Commander of Amotekun, Chief Adetunji Adeleye, disclosed this in Akure, the state capital while parading the nine suspected kidnappers and 22 other suspects apprehended for other various offences in the state.
Adeleye explained the armed kidnappers invaded the home of one Audu Bello in Akunnu-Akoko in Akoko North-West Local Government Area of Ondo State around 7 pm while the victim was praying and beat him before dragging him away from his house to the forest.
According to Amotekun Commander, his men swung into action while they disguised as members of the victim’s family and took the ransom to the suspected kidnappers in their hideout as requested.
He said three members of the syndicate were apprehended by his men at the point of collecting the ransom, saying the three men were sent to receive the ransom
He, however, said the arrest of the three men led to the arrest of six other members of the gang at different locations in the state.
Speaking on his ordeal, Bello, a farmer, said, ” I was observing the evening prayer around 7 pm when these armed men invaded my house and started beating me with stick and cutlass.
Some of them were carrying guns, and they asked me to follow them. They dragged me out of the house after beating me and took me to a forest, where we walked for several hours before getting to their camp.
“They later contacted my family asking for ransom so that they could release me from their hideout.
“I stayed with them for five days, and I was fed with a small quantity of garri without water before Amotekun Corps rescued me. They didn’t give me water throughout. However, I didn’t see them eat.
Bello, who hailed from Kwara State, said: “I was later rescued by men of the Amotekun Corps when they wanted to collect the ransom brought for them for my release”
Meanwhile, Adeleye said other 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 some three years ago and sent to a juvenile home, was also re-arrested for burglary and stealing.
The young boy claimed to be overwhelmed by an evil spirit that motivates him to steal, and he could not resist the urge to steal.
The Ondo Amotekun boss also said that during a routine raid, a six-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 in different towns in the state.
The suspects 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 taken refuge in the forests.
“Criminals must leave our state and allow people going about their legitimate businesses to have peace of mind.”