The Ondo State Police Command has arrested three persons in connection with the abduction of a Muslim cleric, Alhaji Ibrahim Bodunde in the state.
The 67-year-old cleric, who is the Chief Imam of Uso Community in Owo Local Government Area of the state was reportedly kidnapped while working on his farm last month but was released the following day after the payment of N2 million ransom.
Parading the suspects at the command’s headquarters in Akure, the state capital, on Tuesday, the Public Relations Officer of the state police command, Mrs Funmilayo Odunlami said the suspects were arrested following prompt action by the operatives of the command.
According to her, the suspects include Muinah Mohammed, Aisha Bello, and Isah Bello.
She said, “On June 18, 2023, one Mrs Bodunde around 6 pm went to the Uso division to complain that her husband, Alli Ibrahim Bodunde went to the farm and was supposed to come back around 2 pm but unfortunately when they did not see him they sent two persons to the farm to look for him.
“When they got to the farm, they met his car and his mobile phone but they could not see him. And immediately the case was reported, the police swung into action, and at the end of the day, the man was released.
“But in the cause of the investigation, we realised that the man in question is the Chief Imam of the Uso community and through our intelligence team we were able to arrest the suspects.”
One of the suspects, Isah Bello said Mohammed (the third suspect) collected his mobile phone sim from his daughter Aisha and the sim was used to call the victim’s family for negotiation of the ransom.
Bello said, “My daughter (Aisha) came to me to collect my other sim from me. I asked what she wanted to use the sim for, and she didn’t give me any serious answer but since I don’t use the sim any longer, I gave it to her.
I didn’t know what they used the sim for. I don’t know this boy (third suspect, Mohammed). I don’t know anything about the matter. l was not arrested, it was my people that told me about the matter, so I went to report myself at the Area Command office.”
On her part, Aisha admitted that she gave her father’s sim to Mohammed but claimed to be oblivious to the purpose for which he collected the sim.
“We met at Ogbese market and he begged me to get him a sim. So I gave my father’s sim to him but I didn’t know what he wanted to use the sim for. He is not my boyfriend. We are all Fulani,” Aisha stated.
The PPRO said the suspects would soon be charged in court at the end of the investigations.