Dangote’s HR manager murdered, police arrest 3 suspects

Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris
Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris

A human resources manager with Dangote Industries Limited, Istifanus Bello, has been killed by suspected kidnappers.

Bello’s corpse was found in a gutter in Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, the police confirmed.

Three suspects have been arrested by operatives of the Inspector General of Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in connection with the murder.

The suspects, Abubakar Gide, 24; Babuga Adamu, 25, and Abdulahi Saliu, 22, were arrested in Ijebu Igbo forest, Ogun State; Epe forest in Lagos State, and Ipo forest in Kwara State, respectively, by the operatives led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari.

It was gathered that the suspects kidnapped four expatriates and a Nigerian working with Dangote in Ijebu-Igbo on November 9, and were said to have demanded for over N100 million from the company as ransom.

The company was said to have sent Bello to secure the release of his colleagues.

After the release of the five victims, the kidnappers allegedly abducted Bello because he knew too much.

Sources at Ogun State Police Command alleged that the kidnappers then made a new demand of N200 million for his release.

Apprehension set in when neither Bello nor the kidnappers could be reached anymore.

The company then decided to alert the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who drafted his men to investigate the matter.

Force Public Relations Officer, Donald Awunah, confirmed the incident, adding that three of the kidnappers had been arrested.

Awunah explained that the suspects were arrested in Ogun, Lagos and Kwara states, saying they confessed to the crime.

He said, “What happened was that five expatriates of the company were kidnapped and the company went into negotiation with the kidnappers.

“The victim was detailed to pay the ransom. The kidnappers, after taking the ransom, seized and killed him.

“They had demanded N100m, but they were paid N5.6m. So, it is probable that they were not satisfied with the money.

“Following the incident, the Inspector-General of Police ordered the Critical Investigation Unit to swing into action. The team was able to arrest the kidnappers and recover the corpse of the deceased in Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State, where they had their hideout.

“The three suspects –Abubakar Gide, Abdulahi Saliu and Babuga Adamu – were arrested on November 27 and December 3, 2016, at Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State; Epe, Lagos State, and Ajase Forest, Kwara State. Three AK-47 rifles were recovered from them.”

Awunah urged members of the public to exercise restraint in paying ransoms to kidnappers, adding that security agencies should always be carried along during negotiation to avert loss of lives.

Speaking to sympathisers who visited her on Monday, Bello’s wife of 20 years, Amina, said the husband was the best, adding that he was a friend and father to their children.

She said, “Bello was a lovely person; if he was not in the house one day, the children would be asking after him endlessly. Now I do not know what to tell the children because he was always chatting with them on the social media.  When he was abducted, the children asked me to tell them where he was because all his activities on social media ceased and the children said it was unlike him.

“On the 20th anniversary of our wedding, he told me that I was the best woman, adding that I was the only one who understood him. He has never for one day hurt me; he always said if I was not happy, he would not be happy.”