Two suspected masterminds of the kidnapping of pupils and staff members of the Nigerian Turkish International Colleges have been arrested by the police. Apart from the ringleaders, Philip Kakadu, aka General Kakadu, and Romeo Council, aka Raw, other suspects were also said to be undergoing screening in connection with the abduction.
It was gathered that 29-year-old Kakadu and Council, 40, were apprehended in Warri, Delta State, by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, led by ACP Abba Kyari.
Some gunmen had stormed the NTIC last Friday through a hole dug under the school fence and headed for the female hostel, where three pupils were abducted.
A Turkish teacher, a supervisor, a matron and two intending candidates of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination, who worked in the school, were also whisked away by the assailants.
The kidnappers had contacted the matron’s husband and demanded N100m while the police were under pressure to rescue the victims safely.
However, operatives said they were exercising restraints to storm the possible locations of the suspects in the creeks in order not to endanger the lives of the victims.
A police source told our correspondent on Wednesday that the two masterminds had reportedly confessed to orchestrating the crime, adding that the arrest would mount pressure on the captors to release the victims.
“Council is a native of the Bomadi Local Government Area, Delta State, while Kakadu hails from Warri North LGA of the state. They were arrested on Tuesday and have confessed to orchestrating the kidnapping at the school.
“They also confessed to other kidnappings, including the abduction of the Iba monarch in Lagos, and some Isheri landlords. With their arrest, we believe their boys holding the victims in the creeks would surrender,” the source said.
Kakadu allegedly told the police that five of his boys were among those involved in the NTIC operation.
“Kakadu is based in Lagos. He went to Warri to have fun. That was when operatives swooped on him. Five of his men were part of the gang and he is cooperating with the police,” another source added.
A top security agent said the aim of going after the kingpins was not only to secure the release of the victims, but also to find a better way of addressing incessant kidnappings in Lagos and Ogun states.
Efforts to get comment of the Force Public Relations Officer, CP Donald Awunah, were unsuccessful as calls made to his line rang out. He had also yet to reply to a text message sent to him as of press time.
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