29.02.2024 Featured Police Superintendent Puts House Up for Sale to Pay Ransom for Kidnapped Children

Published 29th Feb, 2024

By Olayide Soaga

It has been two months since seven residents of Kuduru New Extension, a border town between Abuja and Niger State, were kidnapped from their homes. Since then, the family members of the abductees have been negotiating with kidnappers.

FIJ learned that on the night of the abduction, the police arrived after the kidnappers had left with their victims.

Although the police arrived late, vigilantes arrived when they heard the intruders were attacking the community. A source (name withheld for safety) familiar with the incident told FIJ that the vigilantes were exchanging fire with the gunmen but could not run after them because their ammunition was not as sophisticated as what the kidnappers had.

“I think they wanted to raid more houses before the vigilantes arrived and started shooting to scare them off,” the source told FIJ.

Community residents and the family members of the abductees also wrote letters to the police to aid in the release of their loved ones.

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“Wike eventually came around, but he only spoke with the community head and promised to beef up security in the community and the surroundings,” said the source.


Shortly after the abduction, the kidnappers began calling the families of the abductees to request ransom.

“They asked for N150 million for the release of a man, asked the police superintendent to pay N50 million each for the release of his two children in their custody, and the husband of the pregnant woman was asked to bring N100 million because they were good to their boys. They asked for N500 million,” said the source.

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Money was not all the kidnappers requested. They also asked for foodstuffs, a cardigan and medicine.

“They called to say the food they were giving abductees in their custody had been exhausted. They asked relatives to buy four bags of rice, a gallon of palm oil, two blankets, three cartons of Indomie and medicine. One of the kidnappers asked for a knee-length cardigan because he was feeling cold,” the source added.

The family members of the abductees came to a consensus that they should negotiate with the abductors together instead of individually.

“They got someone from the community who could speak Hausa, because they only spoke Hausa,” the source said.

He told FIJ that they began negotiating and pleading with the abductors. He also said relatives were only able to secure N23 million. They informed them that was all they had but the abductors said they wanted more. Later, the abductors told them to bring what they had.


According to the source, it was difficult to get a driver to help deliver the ransom because all the drivers they spoke with were scared they would be killed.

“It took a while before they could get a driver to deliver the ransom and the food because they were all scared. There is a story of a driver who was killed after delivering ransom to kidnappers because the people thought he knew them. The drivers were scared because of this.”

Eventually, they were able to get a driver who agreed to deliver the ransom for a fee of N400,000.

“The kidnappers said we should bring food and money and when he got to Katcha in Niger State, they would call him and direct him.”

According to the source, when the driver first went to deliver the ransom, he saw soldiers on the road and the abductors told him to go back and return later. On his second trip there, the driver got to Katcha late, and the abductors told him to spend the night in a neighbouring town and return the following day.

The source also said that when the driver arrived at the agreed-upon place, they came out to meet him on motorcycles.

“The kidnappers called to tell us they had received the money; we thought they would release our people, but they refused and requested for the balance,” the source added.


FIJ learned that one of the abductees was killed on Sunday and the abductors began calling their family members to inform them.

“They called to tell their relatives they were giving us an ultimatum of one week to get the money or they would start killing. They have always been threatening to kill, and we have always been pleading with them,” said the source.

He also told FIJ that the kidnappers told them they wouldn’t release the dead body and would continue killing them until they provided the balance.

According to him, the kidnappers are now requesting N290 million. While the relatives are anticipating the release of their loved ones, they have begun selling their properties to secure the ransom.

“The police superintendent whose children were kidnapped told them he had put his house up for sale. The money is just too much and we are pleading with them to reduce it,” the source said.

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Published 29th Feb, 2024

By Olayide Soaga


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