- We were on the highway to rob, he just happened to be the victim
- We didn’t plan to kill him, it was an error when he overpowered one of us
The Police Command in Delta State paraded a gang of six Fulani herdsmen who kidnapped and murdered the traditional ruler Obi Akaeze Ofulue III of Ubulu-Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area (LGA).
The State Commissioner of Police, Alkali Usman, paraded the group of men before journalists stating that one of the suspects associated with the culprits, by the name of Moni, was still at large.
“In the course of our investigations, on January 8, 2016, the late monarch’s Samsung handset was recovered from one Jaminu Ahmed at Abraka market in Asaba. He was promptly arrested. The suspect’s statement to detectives led to the arrest of another suspect, Umar Abubakar, who was alleged to have sold the handset to Ahmed,” the Mr. Usman disclosed.
Mr. Usman named the suspects involved in the crime including: Usman Musbau, Suleiman Musa, Jaminu Ahmed, Umaru Abubakar, Garba Abubakar and a female accomplice, Farida Abubakar.
Mr. Usman explained that Farida was arrested in a village in Adamawa in possession of the handset belonging to the monarch’s colleague, after detectives tracked the handset.
The Commissioner of Police however stated that investigation into the crime was still ongoing and assured of the Command’s determination to apprehend other fleeing members of the gang.
During the conference the ringleader of the gang, who simply gave his name as Garba Abubakar and popularly known as ‘Dogo’, confessed to the crime. He added that the gang did not initially plan to kill the monarch.
Mr. Abubakar, who spoke in Hausa through an interpreter, denied claims that the abduction of the monarch was planned saying that the motive was to obtain money in ransom from the family.
“We were seven of us, mostly Fulani herdsmen. We set out to rob along the road and fortunately, we saw a black jeep coming along the road, so we stopped it and ordered the two occupants out. We never knew that one of the occupants was a king. It is just coincidental that the monarch fell into our trap.”
“We took the monarch’s mobile phone and made contact to the family and demanded a ransom of N100m for his release.”
Mr. Abubakar continued narrating the ordeal saying, “five of us left the bush and went back into town, keeping communication with two of our men, guarding the captive. When we returned, we saw that the monarch was dead and when we asked what happened, one of us we left behind, called Moni, told us that the monarch overpowered his other colleague we left. He took his gun and shot him dead in a bid to escape.”
“Moni told us that in anger he pulled his gun and shot the monarch dead in retaliation. We never intended to kill the monarch, all we wanted was to obtain money from his family and let him go, but Moni killed him,” Abubakar explained.
It would be recalled that the decomposed body of the murdered monarch was found in a forest several weeks after his been kidnapped by group of men.