Edo: Abducted victim found dead as police arrest victim's friends in connection

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BENIN CITY, EDO - A 32-year-old man, abducted in Auchi, Etsako West local government area of Edo State, was found dead in a forest near Okpilla, Edo State, and the culprits went on the run.

Seven months after, the Nigerian Police said the anti-kidnapping and cybercrime unit arrested three suspects directly involved in the abduction and murder of the man.

Babatunde Oregun was kidnapped in Auchi by a man suspected to be his friend on 13 February 2022.

Standard Gazette gathered that Babatunde received a call around 7 pm by someone who claimed to be his friend to see him near the gate of his house, unknown to him that he had masterminded his abduction.

The three suspected kidnappers and Babatunde Oregun
The three suspected kidnappers and Babatunde Oregun

32-year-old Babatunde was grabbed, forced into a waiting car, and taken to a forest before calling his family for N5m ransom.

After a series of negotiations, N300,000 was raised through families and friends, and the money was paid to the kidnappers.

Standard Gazette gathered that the kidnappers refused to release their victims, which worried the family.

The kidnappers demanded another ransom for the second time, but trouble started when Babatunde recognized one of the kidnappers as his friend.

According to the information gathered, the alleged kidnapper killed Babatunde after the identification while they continued to demand the ransom.

He was clubbed to death with a knife as the family paid N450,000, a total of N750,000 ransom.

The suspects, the Police, were identified as Austin Ogbede, Musa Araba, Abdul Shaibu, and David Atiluku.

After months of investigation, three out of the four suspects were arrested. Police said David Atiluku is still in the wind.

Musa Araba, who narrated how they executed the plans, said, "he later recognized one of us and raised the alarm. That was why we killed him."

"I told my friend that we should kidnap Babatunde so we can collect money from his family. We went to his house and called him to come out, which he did."

Babatunde's elder brother, Mr. Oregun, who expressed shock at the incident, appealed to the Police not to relent in arresting the only gang member now at large.

The Edo State Police Public Relations officer SP Chidi Nwabuzor who confirmed the incident said the suspect would be adequately investigated to ascertain if they have killed other kidnapped victims in Edo state.

The three suspects are expected to be charged in court soon, says the Police.

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