The kidnap suspects who allegedly murdered a senior staff of Dangote Industries Limited have confessed that they killed the man because his company refused to increase the ransom they demanded.
Punch reports that the suspects, Abdullahi Saliu, Babuga Adamu and Abubakar Gide, who were paraded by the Lagos State Police Command, confessed that officials of the company got them angry when they could only come up with N5.6 million instead of the N10 million they had demanded.
The suspects, all of them Fulani herdsmen, added that Gurama who was killed after he had been held for three days, allegedly refused to call his employer to pay up the balance of N4.4 million.
It was learned that the deceased who was saddled with the task of negotiating with kidnappers for the release of expatriate staff of the company, had gone to the Ijebu-Igbo area of Ogun State with N5.6 million as ransom payment for four expatriates earlier kidnapped by the gang.
But while the foreigners were released, he was abducted and held hoping that the company would pay the balance of the money but when they refused, they killed Gurama and dumped his corpse inside a gutter.
20-year-old Saliu, an indigene of Kano State, said that 10 of them carried out the operation led by one Alti, who fired the shot that killed Bello.
“We were 10 that carried out the operation and we were all fully armed. We had attacked and abducted the four expatriates while they worked in a quarry located in a forest in Ijebu-Igbo.
They were guarded by two policemen who had an AK-47 rifle and a pump-action rifle. We surrounded the quarry, overpowered the policemen and took one of their rifles. We didn’t touch them.
We then moved the expatriates into the forest where we fed them with bread and soft drinks. We contacted their families and the company and demanded N30 million ransom. We later reduced the money to N20 million and then N10 million.
Some days later, the man (Bello) brought N5.6 million. Our leader, Alti, was angry and after releasing the four expatriates, he seized the man. He said he must call his family members or the firm to pay up the remaining N4.4 million or else he would be killed in three days.
But the man said he does not have any number to give us and he does not have any money. After the three days elapsed and nobody came for him, he was shot dead. I was given N150,000 and I left the group.”
Another of the suspects, Adamu, 25, said he had persuaded Alti against killing the victim, adding that the leader rebuked him.
“I was given N190,000 for my role. I still have the bulk of the money. When the man brought the ransom, I was the one that led the group to take the money.
I could do this because I have lived in Ijebu-Igbo for over 10 years; I was brought up there.
When Alti insisted on killing the man, I told him to take the man far from where our cows grazed; I said it was none of my business if he killed him,” he added.
The third suspect, Gide, a 24-year-old man from Gumi Local Government Area of Sokoto State, said Adamu made him join the group and his role was just to buy food for the expatriates.
The suspects have since been transferred to the Force Headquarters in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory where the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Donald Awunnah, said investigations were ongoing and they would be charged to court soon, while efforts are on to track down the fleeing suspects.