The now disbanded team were allegedly disarmed, arrested and flown to Abuja on the orders of the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, for allegedly aiding and abetting kidnappers in the state.
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan made the confirmation shortly after the State Security Council meeting in Government House Annex, Warri, during a review of the security situation in the state.
Also in Asaba, the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba confirmed that the IGP had summoned one DSP Dickson Adeyemi, a Deputy Superintendent of Police and members of his squad to Abuja for questioning but refused to give details of the cause of invitation.
Over 98 persons nabbed for kidnapping in the state by the Police, State Security Service, and the Army in the state. The Police and SSS have 40 apiece in their custody, while the Army has 18 suspects.
Governor Uduaghan in his address, revealed the modus operandi of kidnappers in the state; the trend in the last few years, how his administration was battling them, collusion of security agents and the highly-placed persons as well as the challenges the state was facing.
He said: “The Head of Anti-Kidnapping and his boys have been arrested by Force Criminal Investigation Department, CID, for the past four days for interrogation. We are also aware of community involvement and we have discussed with some community leaders too”.
Dissecting the kidnapping saga and criminality as an industry in the state, Governor Uduaghan asserted that after the Niger Delta conflict, we have another round of conflict, which involves communities against oil companies. We now have kidnapping and armed robbery.
“After Christmas kidnapping rose, we have been making efforts and a lot of persons have been arrested. The solution to crime is intelligence gathering and the other is for the security agents to go and make arrests, it involves logistics. The state government is committed to improving infrastructure and the logistics.
“We have met some challenges, information is the key, our people are not willing to give out information, we urge people to give out relevant information”, he stated.
The governor, however, observed: “We have now noticed insiders’ involvement in the kidnapping; they give out vital information to the kidnappers about the victims. Pastors have been arrested too, people you think are innocent are now involved”.
He cautioned: “We should be vigilant because persons you don’t think can be involved are indeed involved. A lot of arrests have been made, police have arrested 40, SSS has arrested 40 and the Army has arrested 18 persons.
“We are also talking with professionals especially the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, about lawyers who try to get bail for kidnappers”, he added.
Uduaghan then appealed to family members of kidnapped victims to cooperate with security agents, saying, “they should not rush to pay ransom. We are putting all efforts to curb these activities, we assure oil workers that they are protected; we should be discreet about our financial dealings”.