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Sunday, 26 June 2016

How notorious kidnappers escaped from Kuje prisons

Two notorious kidnappers who abducted and killed a society lady, Mrs. Edith Chinedu Aliyu, have escaped from the Medium Prisons, Kuje, Abuja, in a daring jailbreak on Friday evening.
It was gathered that the two Kuje inmates, Maxwell Ajukwu and Solomon Amodu, used a plank to scale the high wall of the prisons while Muslim inmates were breaking their Ramadan fast at 7pm.

Punch newspaper reports that the two escapees were part of a gang who abducted the lady and killed her after raping her.
The daring escape set off reports that the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, Charles Okah, had escaped from the Kuje Prisons, but the Prisons Public Relations Officer, Francis Enobore, described these as untrue.
Reports say one of the escaped inmates, Ajukwu, converted to Islam some weeks ago, apparently to exploit the lax security system in the prisons during the ongoing Ramadan fast.
A security source said, “The two kidnapping suspects escaped and left their colleague behind. What happened was that one of them, from the South-East, converted to Islam some weeks ago while in prison when he observed that the prison officers allowed Muslim inmates to stay late against standard prisons rules.
“Normally, the inmates are locked up in their cells by 5pm every day, but the prison authorities decided to extend the time till 8pm to enable the inmates break their fast and pray.
“Preliminary findings show that the two inmates escaped at a point near the chapel in the prisons, which was usually guarded by a prison officer, but he (the officer) did not come to work on Friday and nobody was posted to secure the place.”
Meanwhile, another source, a top prison official, who spoke with Punch on condition of anonymity, said the Kuje inmates exploited a “weakness” in the prison system.
He said, “Normally, inmates are not supposed to be outside beyond 6pm to 6.30pm daily. But the officer in charge of that prison, who takes money from the inmates, allows them stay till 9pm or 10pm.
“What happened was that some of the inmates, who had studied the lapses, decided to use them to plot their escape when it was dark. After they finished breaking their fast on Friday, they put up a ladder on the wall and jumped out. They had fled before the management noticed.”
It has been gathered that two armed prison officers of the prison service (armed squad team) who were supposed to be on guard duty outside the prison wall did not report to work during the jailbreak.
It was learnt that the Federal Capital Territory Controller of Prisons, Daniel Ehindero, had ordered the detention of the two officers in Kuje prisons.
In July 2015, the FCT Command of the Department of State Services arrested Amodu, Ajukwu and two others over the abduction and murder of Dr. Aliyu in the Gwagwalada area of Abuja. Vanguard had reported then that the Assistant Director in charge of Operations at the command, Mr. Ibrahim Halilu, said the late Aliyu, who was the proprietress of Chelston Group of Schools and Chief Executive Officer of Grants Micro Finance Bank, had been kidnapped at her residence on June 29.
“They (suspects) murdered and buried her in a bush after Yangoji Village, along Kwali-Lokoja Expressway two hours later for recognising one of them,” he said.
Halilu had said the suspects admitted that they committed the crime and had agreed to lead operatives of the command to where they buried Aliyu’s corpse to be exhumed. He added that one of the arrested suspects was the driver to the deceased who masterminded the kidnapping and murder of his employer.
The DSS boss had said, “On June 30, the kidnappers contacted her relations and demanded N5m for her release. On July 6, the sum of N2m converted to $11,500 was dropped off for the kidnappers around Obajana Road, Lokoja, Kogi State by the relations without informing the service. Consequently, the service initiated measures which led to the arrest of the four kidnappers.”
In an interview with journalists, the suspects, who confessed to kidnapping the victim, said she was killed by one Douglas, who they referred to as Douggy.
Ajukwu, 41, a graduate of Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, reportedly  confessed to the kidnapping of the victim.
He had said, “We kidnapped her but we never had any intention of killing because the driver said we should kidnap her. She slumped on the way to where we were taking her.
“The driver said since she had seen our faces, it was better we killed her. The person who killed her, Douglas, is not here. We dug the grave, Solomon and I. She recognised me but she did not know me very well. The driver took me to her house two days before the incident.  He took me there as a spy to know the environment.”
Ajukwu had said before the abduction, he worked as a private teacher in Gwagwalada. He said it was one Sunday Jacob that initiated the plan and funded the kidnap.
Amodu, 32, who said he was a 400-level student of Geography at the University of Abuja, confessed to have participated in the killing of Aliyu.  Amodu admitted to driving the get-away car after the kidnapping, saying, “When we picked the woman, as we were going, we removed our masks around a check-point and the woman recognised Maxwell as the man her driver brought to her house. She slumped as she saw Maxwell’s face and, in the process, they asked me to look for an untarred road to park. It was there Douggy asked me to tie her hand and he strangled her. That was how she died.”
The gang members were then charged for murder and kidnapping at a Federal High Court in Abuja.

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