A 44-year-old bricklayer, Mukaila Atunlase who was arrested by the Ogun State Police Command for allegedly attempting to kidnap his neighbour's child, has told the police that he was inspired by the notorious billionaire kingpin, Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, alias Evans.
Punch reports that Alatunse had planned to abduct the victim, Precious Ogundiran, a student living with her parents at Lemode, Ijoko area of the state and demanded the sum of N5 million from the worried parents.
It was gathered that Alatunse who is married to two wives with seven children, had discussed his plan to abduct the victim who is her parents' only child, with a member of a vigilante group in the neighbourhood, telling him that they could get as much as N5 million ransom from the parents.
The vigilante was said to have played along with the suspect and later divulged the plan to Ogundiran’s father, a lecturer at the National Open University of Nigeria on Victoria Island, Lagos State.
The father was said to have reported the case to the police at the Agbado Division, leading to the arrest of the suspect by a team of detectives led by the Divisional Police Officer [DPO], CSP Sunday Ominijo, at a hotel in Agbado where Alatunse and the vigilante had agreed to meet.
A police source said the police team had asked the vigilante to call the suspect on the telephone and tell him that the lady had been kidnapped.
"Atunlase agreed to come down to the hotel so they could contact the father for a ransom. The father is a senior lecturer at NOUN.
While he was with the vigilante at the hotel, the team of detectives hung around. The vigilante told him that the victim had been kept somewhere and that they should discuss the ransom.
He said they would request N5 million from the lecturer and that he would take 60 percent of the money while the vigilante would get 40 percent. The operatives swooped on him in the process. He has confessed to the crime.”
When he was confronted by journalists, Atunlase, a native of Ikire in Osun State, owned up to the botched kidnapping, saying he took to the crime after hearing the news of how Evans made millions of dollars from kidnapping.
He said he got Ogundiran’s phone number and some other details from a shop owner in the area, adding that the trader was not aware of his plan.
“I am also a commercial motorcycle rider and the vigilante rode on my motorcycle on June 16 in the evening. We were discussing how kidnapping had become a way of making quick money.
I explained to him how Evans made a lot of money from kidnapping and suggested we should also try our luck. I told him that I knew a lecturer who had one child and that we would make millions of naira from the man if we kidnapped his daughter.
He said he was also interested and we exchanged contacts. He asked me to provide him with information about the girl, especially her phone number, while he promised to look for more persons to facilitate the kidnapping.
It was on Monday that he called me on the telephone that the girl had been kidnapped and that I should come to a hotel in Agbado to discuss the ransom.
We were in the hotel when the police arrested us. On getting to the station, I realized that it was a set-up.
I have seven children with two wives. One of my wives died recently and I don’t have money to take care of the children. This is the first time I would attempt kidnapping. I am appealing for mercy,” he pleaded.
The state Police Public Relations Officer [PPRO], ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi who confirmed the arrest of the suspect, said further investigations on the case would be carried out and the suspect would be charged to court at the end of the investigation.
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