Five suspects remanded over Kogi judge’s kidnap

A Lokoja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Friday remanded in the custody of the Department of State Security five persons charged with the kidnap of a Kogi High Court judge, Samuel Obayomi.

The five accused – Muktar Zubairu, Abdul Momoh, Kabiru Shuaibu, Enesi Jamiu and Abubakar Lawal – are standing trial on a three counts of conspiracy, culpable homicide and kidnapping.

The Chief Magistrate, Mr Alhassan Husaini, ordered that the men should be kept in DSS custody pending advice from the State Director of Public Prosecutions.

The prosecutor, Mr. Mohammed Abaji, a Senior Legal Officer in the State Ministry of Justice, urged the court to take cognizance of the offences in line with Section 143 (c & d) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

Abaji said the accused, armed with guns and other dangerous weapons, had on May 25 at Ebogogo in Adavi Local Government Area of the state, kidnapped Justice Obayomi and killed his police orderly, Cpl. Musa Usman.

He said the accused forcibly took the judge to an unknown destination until a ransom was paid and subsequently released him on June 27.

“Between June 26 and July 2, the five accused were arrested by a joint task force of the military and DSS in Edo State,” he added.

According to him, the sum of N2.9m , believed to be part of the ransom, was found in their possession.

Abaji also told the court that the task force recovered two unregistered Nissan Almera cars and one Volkswagen Golf with number plate Kogi YAB 718 EW, from the accused.

The offences, he noted, contravened Sections 97 (1) and 221 of the Penal Code and Section 3 of Kogi State Law on kidnapping.

The five accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

News Agency of Nigeria reports that 72-year-old Ahmed Adoke and John Sule, 41, a mechanic, had earlier been arraigned in connection with the kidnap and were remanded at Medium Security Federal Prisons, Koton-Karfe, Kogi State.

The case has been adjourned to October 29 for mention.