Not a few Lagosians heaved a sigh of relief when news went around in the early morning of Sunday, March 6, 2016, that the three girls of Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary School Girls, Ikorodu, Lagos, that were abducted on Monday, February 29, 2016, evening during prep classes, have been rescued by security operatives.
ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered that the girls were rescued by a combined team of IGP’s Special Intelligence Response Team (SIRT) led by crack detective, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Abba Kyari.
The police detectives had laid siege around the Adamo creek where they suspected the kidnappers would be hiding with the girls.
Their surveillance paid off when Friday, March 4, 2016, Emmanuel Arigidi, a key suspect in the kidnap saga came out of their hideout to get food for the other members. He was nabbed by the police detectives and he started singing like a canary bird.
It was Emmanuel Arigidi who told the police where their hideout is and how they planned and executed the kidnapping of the girls.
He said 12 of them were involved in the operation and they used nine canoes for the operation. He said they stormed the school at exactly 8.00pm on that Monday, February 29, 2016, where they kidnapped the three girls.
The police wanted to storm the hideout of the kidnappers but decided against it because such a move could endanger the lives of the three girls.
They adopted a subtle method. Through Emmanuel Arigidi, they got in touch with some of the parents of the kidnappers to go and talk to them.
A man whose two sons were members of the gang was sent on this emissary. The man went in his canoe to the kidnappers’ den and told them that Emmanuel Arigidi had been arrested and he opened up to the police about their hideout.
He told them the police are already planning to storm the place by air and sea. Fearing the worst that could happen to their lives, the kidnappers decided to escape before the police stormed their hideout. But before they disappeared they decided to take the three girls to Igbo-Okuta bridge and made an anonymous call to their parents where they could find them.
For now, it is only Emmanuel Arigidi, among the 12 kidnappers who has been arrested by the security operatives. The other 11 are still at large.
The other two that were paraded by the police with Emmanuel Arigidi were just accomplices knowingly or unknowingly.
James Henry, a.k.a. Segun Olatunde Alabi, was the one who registered the SIM card of the phone used by the kidnappers to call the parents of the girls.
He did not only register the SIM card with a pseudonym but also used his own photograph to register the SIM card. But he claimed he did not know who bought the SIM card from him and yet the name on the registered SIM card was Segun Olatunde Alabi. Segun happens to be the other name James Henry is known around the place where he operates his business.
Akanji Oluwaseun is another suspected accomplice in the kidnap saga. He sells phones and recharge cards in the same Adamo area of Ikorodu, Lagos State.
He was the one who led the police to James Henry a.k.a Segun Olatunde Alabi, when he discovered he was called on the same phone the kidnappers used in the operation for five seconds by one Segun before the kidnappers used the same line.
James Henry and Akanji Oluwaseun told more of their stories in these interviews.
‘Why I was arrested’ – Akanji Oluwaseun
What is your name?
How did you get involved in this kidnapping?
I don’t understand the whole thing. I was in my shop when somebody called me on the phone to ask for direction to my shop. When they (police) collected all my phones, they also went inside my shop and searched the whole place.
They later arrested me and took me to their office. They asked me many questions and I answered them. Later, they handcuffed me and put chain on my legs. The second day, they told me they were looking for one Segun. They asked if I knew any Segun.
I told them the only Segun I know used to register SIM cards. They asked where his shop is and I took them there. They now told me that there was a number that called my own phone on February 24, 2016. I told them I don’t know any number like that. They searched all my phones but couldn’t find the number. That is all I know about this thing. I don’t know anything more than this.
What do you do for a living?
I sell recharge cards and phones. In fact, the day they (police) came, they met me issuing receipt to somebody who just bought phone from me.
How old are you?
Which state are you from?
‘How i was arrested’ – James Henry a.k.a Segun Olatunde Alabi
Where I was involved in this matter is that after I did SIM registration for a customer and when I wanted to submit the registration, there was no network. So, it bounced back.
Meanwhile, I had already given the SIM card to the customer and he left. So, I just used the system to snap myself. It is the picture that they now used to locate me. I am not a kidnapper.
In whose name was the SIM card registered?
The name on that SIM card is Olatunde Segun Alabi. I don’t know the person. It was only my picture that I used to register the SIM.
What is your real name?
My own real name is James Henry. I am from Delta State.
Why did you use your own picture to register for someone else’s SIM card?
On a normal day, when people come to buy SIM card, the thing will not work if you don’t submit it. I want to submit the job so that it will work.
Since you don’t know the person, why will you use your photograph to register his SIM card?
I do SIM card registration and people buy SIM card and go and we don’t know their whereabouts.
Where were you arrested?
I was arrested in Ikorodu.
In your house?
Not in my house. At Sabo, where I do my registration of SIM cards. People come and buy SIM cards and I will do the registration for them.
How were you arrested?
I was arrested through him (pointing at Akanji Oluwaseun) because we live in the same area.
Which area is that?
Adamo in Ikorodu. I do SIM card registration. He sells phones and recharge cards. Customers use to come to him (Akanji) to ask for SIM cards. Since he knows me, he will call me to register for them.
How did he (Akanji) connect you to the crime?
Because he (Akanji) knows me as Segun and the name they are looking for with that SIM card is Segun Alabi Olatunde. He (Akanji) did not know me as James Henry. He knows me as Segun that some guys in our area call me. He told the police that the only Segun he knows is me.
We are not kidnappers. I do SIM card registration.