Two soldiers said they were paid N13 million from the ransom paid to the kidnappers of Margaret Emefiele, the CBN Governor’s wife.
About two weeks ago, Emefiele and three others were kidnapped along Benin-Agbor Road but were released 24 hours later after an undisclosed ransom was paid to their abductors.
The Two soldiers, Lance Corporals Musa Maidabra and Edwin George, serving at 122D30 Regiment in Maiduguri, Borno State, said they were given N6.5 million each as their share of the ransom, which according to Punch, was estimated to be around N80 million.
According to the soldiers, their role was to help the kidnapping gang transport the money to a hideout in Benin, the Edo State capital.
Maidabra and George, alongside seven others believed to be members of the gang were on Monday, October 11, paraded in Abuja.
Other suspects included a dismissed soldier, Ernest Uduefe, Mohammed Abubakar, Mohammed Musa, Mohammed Sule, Ibrahim Abdullahi, Aliyu Musa and Mohammed Yusuf.
“We were not involved in the kidnapping; we only assisted them to transport the money to a location. We carried the money and ran away with it in a vehicle; it was part of my friend’s share that I collected. We didn’t know the money was from a kidnap operation,” one of the officers, Maidabra said.
Corroborating the story, George said: “I was not involved in the kidnap; the money they gave me was over N6m. I asked about the source of the money, but they didn’t tell me.”
According to the Police Public Relations Officer, Donald Awunah, N14,725,000, two Honda Accord cars, an Audi car, one AK 47 magazine and two cartridges were recovered from the gang.
He stated that a Jeep, valued at N1.5 million and N4 million cash were recovered from Maidabra, while a Honda Accord, estimated at N1.1 million, was recovered from George.
The PPRO explained they also recovered N7.7 million from Musa out of his N10 million share, adding that he sustained bullet wounds after a gun duel with the police while trying to escape from the forest where their victims were kept.