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Why we killed Dangote’s HR manager – Kidnapper

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– Three suspects alleged to have kidnapped and killed a Dangote employee say they murdered the victim because he got them angry after bringing N5.6m instead of the N10m agreed ransom

– The suspects who are Fulani herdsmen have been transferred from the Force headquarters in Abuja to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, Ikeja, Lagos

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– One of the suspects, Saliu, an indigene of Kano state, said they were led by one Alti, who fired the shot that killed Bello, the Dangote staff

Late Istifanus Bello Gurama was a top strategist for the Dangote Industries Limited owned by Nigeria’s richest man Aliko Dangote.

Three suspects alleged to have kidnapped and killed a human resources manager of the Dangote Industries Limited have said the employee was murdered for bringing incomplete ransom to secure the release of four expatriates earlier kidnapped by their gang.

Istifanus Bello Gurama who was kidnapped three weeks ago, by the gang was reportedly found dead on Monday, December 5.

The deceased who is a senior strategist, was in charge of negotiations and handing ransom payment to kidnappers whenever any of the expatriates in Dangote Industries was kidnapped.

He had gone to the Ijebu-Igbo area of Ogun state with N5.6m as ransom payment for the four expatriates but while the foreigners were released, he was abducted and later killed.

The suspected kidnappers who killed the Dangote staff. Photo credits: The Punch

His corpse was reportedly recovered from a river by the police.

Three men alleged to be behind the murder of the Dangote staff were arrested at Ijebu-Igbo forest, Epe forest in Lagos and Ipo forest in Kwara state, where they fled to after killing the man.

Disclosing why they murdered the employee, the suspects – Abdullahi Saliu, Babuga Adamu and Abubakar Gide, told Punch that that Bello got them angry after bringing N5.6m instead of the N10m agreed for the release of four expatriates they had kidnapped earlier.

According to the arrested kidnappers, Bello was killed after he had been held for three days because he allegedly refused to call his employer to pay the balance of N4.4m.

The suspects who are Fulani herdsmen were thereafter arrested following investigations by the Abba Kyari-led inspector-general of police intelligence response team.

The men were on Tuesday, December 6, transferred from the force headquarters in Abuja to the special rnti-Robbery squad, Ikeja, Lagos, pending the conclusion of investigation.

One of the suspects, 21-year-old Saliu, an indigene of Kano state, said they were led by one Alti, who fired the shot that killed Bello. He said 10 of them carried out the operation.

He said: “We were 10 that carried out the operation and we were all fully armed. We had attacked and abducted the four expatriates while they worked in a quarry located in a forest in Ijebu-Igbo; they were guarded by two policemen who had an AK-47 rifle and a pump-action rifle. We surrounded the quarry, overpowered the policemen and took one of their rifles. We didn’t touch them.

We then moved the expatriates into the forest where we fed them with bread and soft drinks. We made contact with their families and the company and demanded N30m ransom.  We later reduced the money to N20m and then N10m.

“Some days later, the man (Bello) brought N5.6m. Our leader, Alti, was angry and after releasing the four expatriates, he seized the man. He said he must call his family members or the firm to pay up the remaining N4.4m or else he would be killed in three days. But the man said he does not have any number to give us and he does not have any money. After the three days elapsed and nobody came for him, he was shot dead.”

Saliu disclosed that he was paid N150,000 from the ransom after which he left the group.

Another suspect, Adamu, 25, said he tried to stop Alti against killing the victim, but that the leader rebuked him.

“I was given N190,000 for my role. I still have the bulk of the money. When the man brought the ransom, I was the one that led the group to take the money. I was able to do this because I have lived in Ijebu-Igbo for over 10 years; I was brought up here. When Alti insisted on killing the man, I told him to take the man far from where our cows graze; I said it was none of my business if he killed him,” he added.

The third suspect, 24-year-old

As for 24-year-old, Gide, the third suspect, who hails from the Gumi local government area of Sokoto state, Adamu made him to join the group.

Gide said his role was to buy food for the expatriates.

On how the suspects were initially arrested, a source said police and some vigilance group members had first apprehended Saliu and transferred him to the Ogun state special anti-robbery squad, adding that when they didn’t have a breakthrough, the IGP team was invited.

He said: “After we intervened, Saliu confessed to us and took us to where the man’s corpse was. It was already decomposing when we found it. Fish had even picked out his eyes. We contacted some council officials, who removed the corpse and deposited it in a mortuary from where some employees of the Dangote company picked it.

“From the information we gathered, we arrested Adamu’s brother, who gave us his address in a forest in Epe, Lagos. We got him arrested around 2am while he was fast asleep with other herdsmen in an open space.

“We later moved to Kwara State to arrest the last suspect, Gide. A policeman had pretended that he had a special assignment and he needed a woman and a hotel to stay in, and since Gide was very familiar with the area, he believed he could help out. After dribbling us for three days, he finally showed up and we arrested him.

“We are still searching for the remaining seven suspects, including the one with the police gun which they took at the quarry; and we will get them.”

The police have said investigations on the case is ongoing.

Another suspect, Adamu, 25, said he tried to stop Alti against killing the victim, but that the leader rebuked him.

“I was given N190,000 for my role. I still have the bulk of the money. When the man brought the ransom, I was the one that led the group to take the money. I was able to do this because I have lived in Ijebu-Igbo for over 10 years; I was brought up here. When Alti insisted on killing the man, I told him to take the man far from where our cows graze; I said it was none of my business if he killed him,” he added.

The third suspect, 24-year-old

As for 24-year-old, Gide, the third suspect, who hails from the Gumi local government area of Sokoto state, Adamu made him to join the group.

Gide said his role was to buy food for the expatriates.

On how the suspects were initially arrested, a source said police and some vigilance group members had first apprehended Saliu and transferred him to the Ogun state special anti-robbery squad, adding that when they didn’t have a breakthrough, the IGP team was invited.

He said: “After we intervened, Saliu confessed to us and took us to where the man’s corpse was. It was already decomposing when we found it. Fish had even picked out his eyes. We contacted some council officials, who removed the corpse and deposited it in a mortuary from where some employees of the Dangote company picked it.

“From the information we gathered, we arrested Adamu’s brother, who gave us his address in a forest in Epe, Lagos. We got him arrested around 2am while he was fast asleep with other herdsmen in an open space.

“We later moved to Kwara State to arrest the last suspect, Gide. A policeman had pretended that he had a special assignment and he needed a woman and a hotel to stay in, and since Gide was very familiar with the area, he believed he could help out. After dribbling us for three days, he finally showed up and we arrested him.

“We are still searching for the remaining seven suspects, including the one with the police gun which they took at the quarry; and we will get them.”

The police have said investigations on the case is ongoing.

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