The Oyo state police command has arrested seven suspects alleged to have kidnapped the twins of Taofeeq Azeez popularly known as “Akeugbagold” an islamic cleric in Ibadan.
Akeugbagold was the chairman of the Oyo state pilgrims welfare board of the Muslim wing during the administration of Abiola Ajimobi, ex governor of Oyo.
The twins, aged two years and four months, were abducted at their Ojoo residence on April 17 when their father went to the studio to record a lecture.
The twins were released eight days later after a ransom was paid to secure their freedom.
Mutiu Rafiu, an Ibadan-based herbalist and one of the suspects, reportedly said he lied to his wife, Medinat, the only female suspect, that the twins were children of his friends.
Rafiu reportedly said he told Medinat that the parents of the twins had separated and were yet to decide who would take custody of them.
He said his wife was innocent and pleaded that she be absolved of the crime.
Shina Olukolu, the state commissioner of police, said two of the suspects, who were the mastermind of the kidnap, were aides to the cleric and that they claimed they were not being properly taken care of.
He said one of the aides fled from Ibadan after the operation and ran to Sokoto but was caught and his confession led to the arrest of other members of the gang.
Olukolu said the syndicate had been terrorising parts of Ibadan and its environs.
He said a substantial part of the ransom collected from the twins’ parents was recovered along with ammunition and vehicles used for the operation.
“The criminal assailants demanded for a ransom of N50 million before the two abducted babies would be released,” Olukolu said.
“As soon as the incident was reported at the Ojoo police station and was later transferred to the AKS Eleyele/SARS office Dugbe, Ibadan, a team of AKS/SARS operatives swung into action and concerted efforts were intensified to rescue the abducted babies and arrest the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
“The twins were released unhurt eight days later after their father had parted with an alleged sum of N4m as ransom to the hoodlums.
“Consequent upon this, the investigating team embarked on painstaking investigation and traversed several states, including Adamawa and Sokoto, and in the process arrested Rilwan Taiwo, Rafiu Mutiu, Olumide Ajala, Fatai Akanji, Bashiru Mohammed, Opeyemi Oyeleye and Rafiu Modinat, the only female member of the gang detailed to take care of the babies in captivity, in connection with the crime.
“Exhibits found on them are one locally made single barrel gun, eight cartridges, two Micra cars, an unregistered TVS motorcycle and a cash sum of N2,863,000.”
“Let me seize this opportunity to appeal to members that in doing one or two things for ourselves, we must also remember our subordinates. Without justifying their aim for the crime, their allegation was that they were not being properly taken care of. Therefore, the two of them who were aides to Alhaji Akeregbagold were the mastermind of the crime.”