A suspected kidnapper, Niyi Omosola, has been shot dead by the police in the Epe area of Lagos.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Omosola was shot dead during a rescue operation by the police to free a victim, identified simply as Kudirat.
It was gathered that Omosola, while collecting the ransom, sighted the police and decided to escape on a motorcycle when the operatives fired him.
It was gathered that Omosola, who hailed from Ondo State, allegedly led a gang which kidnapped the woman in the Elemoro, Ajah area. Sixty-two-year-old Kudirat was reportedly abducted by the gang on Thursday, April 16, at about 7pm. Our correspondent learnt that Kudirat, a businesswoman, was inspecting the construction work at a petrol station she owned in the area when the kidnappers swooped on her and took her away. It was gathered that the gang later contacted the family and demanded a ransom of N50m. However, after negotiation, our correspondent learnt that the the gang and the family agreed to a ransom of N3m.
PUNCH Metro learnt on Wednesday that Kudirat’s brother, who had been communicating with the gang, took the ransom to an agreed hideout in the Epe area.
However, a team of operatives led by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad Commander, Abba Kyari, was said to have trailed Kudirat’s brother to the hideout. A police source said Omosola, while collecting the ransom, initially opened fire when he sighted the police. He added that when the kingpin saw that he was outnumbered, he tried to escape on a motorcycle, leaving the policemen with no choice than to fire him. He said, “The kidnappers are a notorious gang. They had conducted several operations in the area. In the latest incident, they demanded N50m initially, but when the family could not produce the amount, they finally agreed to N3m. They also arranged where the place of meeting would be in the Epe area.
“The police trailed the brother, who was taking the money to Epe, where Omosola was waiting. Immediately he collected the ransom, he suspected that policemen were around and he began to shoot sporadically.
“He got on a motorcycle and was riding off when he was gunned down. He did not die immediately.”
PUNCH Metro learnt that Omosola, who was injured, led the SARS operatives to a bush between Epe and Ijebu Ode, where the woman was held. When the police arrived at the hideout, his gang members had reportedly fled the place. It was gathered that Kudirat was rescued alive by the police, while Omosola eventually died from the gunshot injuries. The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, said efforts were on to apprehend the remaining gang members. He said, “When the information was received, the operatives trailed the gang to the location.
“The kidnap kingpin actually fired at SARS operatives, who were carrying out the rescue operation, and they fired back. In the process, he was fatally wounded.
“The woman has been rescued, while the corpse has been deposited at a public morgue.
“Efforts are being intensified to arrest other fleeing members of the gang.”