by Rachel Ogbu
One of the suspects who allegedly kidnapped Chairman, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area, Kehinde Bamigbetan, has committed suicide at a hotel along Old Ojo road, Agboju, Lagos.
The suspect leaped off the building when the police arrived his hotel room and were about to arrest him.
Known as ‘Onye Army’, the suspect was believed to have belonged to the gang who held Bamigbetan hostage for five days. He was released on Saturday night, at about 9.45pm, but the Special Anti-Robbery Squad intensified search for the perpetrators.
According to reports, the police had been on the trail of the suspects and had actually made some arrests who became sources that led them to the hideout.
A police source said, “Onye Army was actually in the hotel with some members of the kidnapping gang.”
“However, by the time SARS operatives got there, other members of his group had cleared out leaving just Onye Army’
“While some of the SARS operatives went up to his room and knocked on the door, some waited by the entrance of the hotel. It seems, however, that Onye Army had sighted them through his window because he refused to open up the door. When they started to force the door open, he came out on the balcony, hoping to jump down safely and make his escape.
“Unfortunately, it was a fatal fall. Onye Army broke both legs and his spine; he was in serious pains. Despite all attempts to keep him alive and lead the SARS operatives to the hideout where his colleagues were keeping Bamigbetan, he died while being rushed to the hospital.”
The Punch reports:
PUNCH Metro learnt that one of the suspects arrested by SARS following Bamigbetan’s kidnap gave the police the information on Army and how to track him.
The source said Bamigbetan was set free after the kidnappers discovered that some of their members were being rounded up by SARS.
A family friend of the Bamigbetans told PUNCH Metro on the condition of anonymity that a ransom of N15m was paid to secure his release.
He said, “After the family paid the N15m, the kidnappers reneged on the agreement and demanded another N10m.
“But to our surprise, they suddenly released Bamigbetan on Saturday.”
The Lagos State Deputy Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Damasus Ozoani, said, “I can confirm that Bamigbetan has been released.
“As for any ransom being paid, I am not aware of that.
“I also don’t have details of the suspect who jumped to his death. However, police investigation on this case is still on.”