20170403

Female Banker Kidnapped By Farmer... demands N10m ransome

A 24-year-old farmer, Sule Haruna, has been remanded in prison by a Lokoja Chief Magistrate’s Court over alleged kidnap of a female banker, Morayo Ogunleye for N10m ransom.

Mr. Alhassan Husaini of Lokoja Chief Magistrate Court II who gave the remand order on arraignment of the accused on Monday in Lokoja said the two-count charge preferred against Haruna was not bailable.

"It is hereby ordered that the accused be remanded at the Federal Prisons, Koton-Karfe. Meanwhile, this case is adjourned to April 17, for mention,” the judge said.

The accused was charged with criminal conspiracy and kidnapping contrary to Section 97(1) of the Penal Code and sections 4(1) and 2 of the Kogi State Kidnapping and Other Related Offences (Prohibition) Law, 2015.

Earlier in his submission, the prosecuting police officer, Sgt. Adeboye Awoyale, told the court that the kidnap case was reported by one Sam Ayinigba of Zenith Bank, Lokoja, on November 15, 2016.

Awoyale said the Police Special Anti Robbery Squad received a distress call from Zenith Bank, Akure branch, that a senior staff of the bank, Morayo Abiodun Ogunleye, had been kidnapped.

According to him, Ogunleye, who was travelling to Abuja on an official assignment in the company of her driver, was violently stopped at a spot between Osara and Irepeni on Okene-Lokoja highway by armed Fulani men.

The prosecutor further alleged that the Fulani men invaded the road and started shooting sporadically at her Hyundai Sonata vehicle and stopped them at gun point.

The hoodlums later kidnapped the banker and her driver and took them into the bush, only to later call Ogunleye’s relations to demand N10m ransom before they could release her.

Awoyale said the accused (Haruna) of Zaho Area, Lapai, Niger State, an alleged member of the kidnap gang, was later caught with the banker’s driving license, National Identity Card, Zenith Bank ATM and voters’ card.

Other items found in his possession include verification card as well as Union Bank and Diamond Bank ATM cards, with some copies of her passport photograph for which he could not give satisfactory explanation.

The prosecutor said investigation into the case was in progress.