A notorious Nigerian kidnap kingpin who was abducted by another kidnap gang when he went to their hideout in the forest to sell live ammunition to them had to pay a ransom of N1.5 million ($3,934) for his freedom.
According to Pulse Nigeria, Police Force spokesperson, Frank Mba, said the kidnapper who was kidnapped – Mohammed Ahmadu a.k.a Confirm – was the leader of a kidnapping group based in the north-central region of the West African nation. Mba revealed Ahmadu was rounded up by the other gang when he met up with them in the forest, and they demanded his group pay the money before his release. Ahmadu was also shot in the hand during his abduction.
The alleged armourer of the other kidnapping gang responsible for Ahmadu’s abduction – Abubakar Umaru a.k.a Buba Bargu – was paraded together with the former and several other suspects on Monday after the police arrested them.
“Notable among the arrests, is the arrest of one Abubakar Umaru a.k.a. Buba Bargu, ‘m’, 35 years, native of Kato Shiroro area of Niger State by the operatives of the special tactical squad (STS),” Mba said in a statement, according to The Cable.
“Investigations by the police team revealed that Abubakar is a member and armourer of a gang that has carried out several kidnaps for ransom operations along Lokoja-Abuja/Abuja-Kaduna highways and other major highways in the north-central states of the country.”
He added: “Interestingly, this group carried out the abduction of one Mohammed Ahmadu a.k.a. Confirm, ‘m’, 30 years, a kidnap kingpin and leader of another notorious kidnapping group in the north-central, when he came to their hideout in the forest to sell live ammunition to the group.
“He was held and shot in the hand until his gang members paid a ransom of one million, five hundred and fifty-five thousand naira (N1,555,000.00) only for his release.”
Authorities also said they recovered five AK47 rifles, five magazines and 120 rounds of AK 47 ammunition when Umaru was rounded up at his hideout in the forest.
Kidnapping for ransom in Nigeria has become an issue of growing concern as well as a major security problem. Though kidnappers targeted rich and prominent victims in the past as they could negotiate for huge settlements, they have now moved to even add average citizens.
Over the last nine years, $18 million has been paid in ransom, a report by SB Morgen revealed, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. A sizeable portion of that amount – $11 million – was, however, paid between 2016 and 2020, showing a huge spike.
The report also revealed ransom amounts usually range between $1,000 and $150,000, and that depends on the victim and their family’s wealth status.