Ikechukwu Daniel, who is an alleged member of a kidnap gang that operates in the Southwest part of the country, has revealed how oil magnate and billionaire businessman, Chief Femi Otedola, escaped being kidnapped by his gang, while attending a ceremony in Ibadan, Oyo State capital.
Daniel, 28, who was arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, for allegedly masterminding the April 27, 2016, abduction of Senator Iyabo Anisulowo, Ogun State, told Saturday Sun that his gang had planned to kidnap Otedola.
Daniel, from Imo State, was born and raised in Kaduna State, told Saturday Sun during an interview in Lagos State , that he and members of his gang were perfecting plans to abduct the billionaire businessman, before he was arrested. He narrated that they missed him once when he attended a function at Ibadan Oyo State, due to heavy presence of security operatives, but they decided to take a little time and prepare properly for the operation.
According to him, there was someone working with Otedola who brought the idea to them and the person told them that the oil magnet was going to be in Ibadan. Acting on that tip off, they went there, but saw that there was heavy security presence around him.
“ So, I told my gang members that we must wait and plan very well before carrying out the operation. I told them that the first thing I would do so as to ensure that the operation was successful, was to do spiritual sacrifice to the gods and ensure that I defeat spiritually before going for him. You know a man like Otedola is powerful spiritually.
“ Then the next step was to ensure that we get army, DSS and police uniforms. I realised without impersonation there was no way I would be able to go close to a man of such status. While the last on our list was to ensure that we monitor his movements regularly through our contact that is close to him and we would strike on a day that he has very little security men around me.
“I would have achieved all this by November and if we succeed it will be my last job as I would demand, N2 billion and I am hopeful he will pay nothing less than N500million.”
Commenting on how they abducted 70-year-old Senator Anisulowo, who represented Ogun West Senatorial District, between 2003 and 2007, Daniel said she was abducted alongside her security on her way home from her farm along Igbogila Road, in Yewa Local Government Area of Ogun State. Senator Iyabo who is also a former minister of State of Education, was released after 10 days in captivity following pressure by the police on members of the kidnap gang who were mainly Fulani natives.
Saturday Sun gathered during the week that IRT operatives who were acting on a directive of the acting IGP, Ibrahim Idris, arrested one Mohammed Babuga, who provided information that aided the IRT operatives in trailing Daniel, who is popularly known as, Ike to his hideout in Festac, Lagos State and apprehended him while negotiating a four million naira ransom from relatives of a victim who was in his gang’s custody.
Sources at the IRT, headed by CSP Abba Kyari, disclosed that Daniel, who was described as an I-tech expert was coaching Fulani kidnappers on how to use ICT to evade arrest.
During his interview, Daniel confessed that he joined the kidnap gang in 2014, after he was released from Oyo State Prison. He explained that he was arrested in 2012 for hijacking a petroleum tanker truck on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and during his stay in prison he met one Mohammed Babuga, a Fulani who eventually led him into kidnapping. He added that he usually does the gang’s negotiation whenever a victim has been kidnapped because he has the expertise in ensuring that the ransoms are collected successfully. Dainel further explained that after the Senator Iyabo was kidnapped he was the one who ensured that the woman was spared as her family refused to pay ransom for her release.
Daniel also disclosed during his interview that he made sure that he was always steps ahead of security operatives by ensuring that he is acquainted with strategies of the DSS and the police in tackling kidnapping and other violent crimes. “ I have a friend who is into hacking and he helped me hacked into DSS and police websites and through that process I normally monitor their new tracking methods. Before I was arrested I knew the police was looking for me but I believed in my knowledge of Nigeria security apparatus but it failed me”, he lameneted.
Mohammed Babuga, 32-year-old, his gang member, from Kebbi State, who is married, has two children , confessed that he was first arrested in 2011 when he went for a robbery operation with Maman on the Kaduna Road in Kwara State. “ I use to take them to the scene and they paid me N156, 000 in three operations. On the third operation, when I was taking them back to Ilorin, some vigilance group arrested us and took us to the police, where we were charged to court and I was remanded in prison.
While in prison custody, I met Daniel, but when I left prison, I joined a kidnap gang led by Boeyi, Bubah Bube and we kidnapped a Fulani man and we got N4million and I was given N700, 000. We did our second job at Rejob a boundary between Kebbi State and Niger, and we collected N2 million and I got N250, 000. After that operation, I left Kebbi and relocated to Oyo State because there were no good roads and Boeyi, called me and said he wanted to join me and he has got an Ak47 rifle and one Abubakar, a herdsman also has a pump action gun. We contributed money and we bought a Honda Bullet car. Boeyi brought a job which was to kidnap a man, but before we went for the job, Daniel came and joined us and we did four jobs together before I was arrested”