The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps NSCDC, Benue State Command, has paraded nine suspects for sundry crimes, among them, two who abducted 18 passengers in Benue, last December.
Parading the suspects at the NSCDC Command headquarters in Makurdi, on Monday, the State Commandant, Philip Okoh said the suspects were apprehended at different locations within the state between February 4th and February 10, 2022.
According to him, while three other suspects were arrested for diversion and adulteration of a tanker loaded with 33,000 liters of petroleum products, four others who were nabbed for criminal conspiracy and willful destruction of critical national assets and infrastructure valued at over N20 million.
Mr. Okoh explained that the suspected kidnappers identified as Sabastine Hidejime and Abraham Toryem had abducted a bus with 18 passengers on December 12, 2021.
He said the bus took off from Artisan Market in Enugu, Enugu State on 12th December, 2021 and was abducted with 18 passenger on board near Federal University, Wukari in Taraba State and was taken to Ukum LGA of Benue State.
Okoh said one of the kidnapped victims was later released after paying a ransom of N300,000 while the others were still in the custody of the abductors.
He said unknown to the suspects, the bank account that was used to collect the money was being tracked and as soon as the money was paid into it, the account was blocked and the matter reported to NSCDC.
It was later to be discovered that the said account belonged to a POS operator who, out of ignorance, gave it to a customer to transfer the said money without knowing that it was for ransom.
Other suspects were Yaya Umar, Abubakar Sadik and Shittu Ismail who were arrested at Howe, Gwer East LGA with three trucks of railway materials.
The Command also paraded Adamu Baffa, Abubakar Usman and Usman Abbah who were arrested at Vandeikya LGA for being in possession of a tanker load of adulterated petroleum products.
The state NSCDC boss said all the suspects would be charged to court after completion of investigation into the various cases.
Speaking to journalists, all the suspects confessed to the various crimes while the POS operator who cried during the parade pleaded for mercy saying he was ignorant of their plans and never knew the money being transferred to his account was for ransom.