Abducted Lagos Schoolgirls: Police Make U-Turn, Admit N5.6m Was Paid As Ransom To Free Students

…Court Remands 6 Suspects In Prison

In a dramatic twist, the police in Lagos yesterday discredited their earlier claim that they secured the release of three students of the Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School, Ikorodu, abducted from their school premises last month without payment of any ransom.

Putting a lie to their own claim yesterday when six persons recently arrested in connection with the kidnapping of the three students were arraigned in court for a remand order, the police in the charge sheet filed in court admitted that the suspects were paid N5.6 million before they released the girls.

To cover the lie, the police in the charge sheet, alleged that on March 5, 2016 at about 8pm along Ikorodu-Ijebu Ode road, Lagos the suspects armed with AK 47 rifles and other offensive weapons robbed one Venerable Ola Oluna Adeyemi, the Principal of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School, the sum of N5.6million.

It was however gathered the N5.6m was the ransom paid by the school through the principal to the abductors before the suspects released the girls and the police claiming they rescued the students without paying any money.

The suspects are: Emmanuel Arigidi, 37: Gift Pius, 30: Omoni Rufus Fred, 32; Owei Omobo Geofrey, 38; Akanji Seun, 38: and James Henry Segun, 29, who were arraigned before a Lagos State Magistrate court, Ebute-Metta have been remanded for the first 30 days.

Their remand was sequel to an application brought before Chief Magistrate I. O. Adelaja and argued by by the lawyer to the Police, Mr. Godwin Osuyi.
Arguing the remand application, Osuyi, said the application was brought pursuant to section 264(1) and (2), of the administration of Criminal Justice of Lagos State, 2011. Osuyi informed the Court that the remand application was to enable the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP), to issue an advice on the matter. He therefore urged the court to remand the suspects for the first 30 days, pending when the advice will be issued by the DPP.

However, the six suspects who were represented by Mr. Ola Ogunbiyj did not oppose the police’s remand application. Consequently, the presiding Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Adelaja, ordered that the six suspected kidnappers be remanded in prisons custody for the first 30 days, while the police was ordered to duplicate the case file and forward it to the DPP for an advice.

In the charge sheet marked D/13/16, attached with the remand application, police alleged that the suspected kidnappers had on February 29, 2016, at about 8p.m, while armed with AK 47, and offensive weapons, invaded Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School, Ikorodu, and unlawfully kidnapped and detained three students of the school.

The three students allegedly kidnapped by the suspects includes: Tofunmi Popo-Olaniyan, 15: Olusa Timilelun, 14 and Deborah Akintayo, 14: all girls. The police alleged that the suspects took away the students to a creek between Imota and Igbokuta of Ikorodu, on February 29, before they were rescued by the police on March 6.

Aside that, the first suspect, Emmanuel Arigidi, was alleged to be a member of the armed gang that robbed FCMB at Admiralty Way, Lekki, the sum of N24 million, on March 12, 2015. The offences according to the Osuyi, are contrary to punishable under sections 409, 269(1), and 295(2) of the Criminal laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011

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