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Soldier, Airman Arrested for Kidnapping, Armed Robbery In Abuja

A soldier with the Nigerian Army, Lance Corporal Idi Mohammed, and an Airman with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Corporal Alidu James Olathe, are under arrest in Abuja for separately involving themselves in armed robbery and kidnapping activities in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Lance Corporal Mohammed, who was posted on guard duty at the residence of a retired Major General in Katampe Extension Abuja, was gunned down by troops of the Army Headquarters Garrison (AHQ Gar) deployed for guard duty at the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) College, Kurudu.

His accomplice, allegedly a serving soldier, however escaped.

Corporal Olathe, who is serving at the headquarters of the Directorate of Civil Military Relations (DCMR), Nigerian Air Force, was apprehended by AHQ Gar soldiers on guard duty at the Nigerian Army Post Housing Development Limited (PHDL) Phase 5 Estate, Kurudu, in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).

The soldier was allegedly assisting two civilians to kidnap one Mr Emmanuel Sunday, a resident of the estate.

According to a source, “yes, the incident involving the soldier occurred on Wednesday 18 January 2023 when some armed robbers attempted to infiltrate into PHDL Phase 1 Estate, Kurudu through the nearby NAOWA College. Troops of AHQ Gar deployed for guard duty in the school premises challenged the armed robbers upon sighting their movement in the dark but the robbers opened fire on the guards who also returned fire, hitting one of the armed robbers on the shoulder while the other fled and escaped.

“The AHQ Garrison soldiers on guard duty swiftly dashed under cover of darkness to the school to beef up the guards upon hearing gunshots. The armed robber who was hit had one X AK47 rifle, 26 rounds of 7.62mm (special), a knife, a black mask, and a mobile phone.

“However, close observation of the robber confirmed that he is a serving solider. Lance Corporal Idi Mohammed of the AHQ Garrison Admin Battalion was posted on guard duty at the residence of Major General JM Ogidi’a (rtd) at Katampe Extension, Abuja.

“However, preliminary inquiry from the culprit who was still conscious revealed that they were two in number. He also revealed that his accomplice, who escaped is also a serving soldier. The culprit was evacuated to nearby hospital in Kurudu for resuscitation and treatment.”

For the case involving the Airman, the source noted that the incident took place on Sunday when “Corporal Olathe was arrested by AHQ Gar soldiers on guard duty at PHDL Phase 5 Estate, Kurudu while assisting two civilians to kidnap one Mr Emmanuel Sunday, a resident of the Estate.

“Preliminary investigation confirmed that the Airman and his civilian accomplices stormed the victim’s house dressed in black suits, claiming they were DSS personnel. The Airman-led abductors immediately seized the mobile phones belonging to the victim and his wife including a laptop and ordered the victim into a waiting Ash-coloured Toyota saloon vehicle with Registration Number (ABUJA) ABJ 755 LD.

“Following a tip-off by the victim’s wife who raised alarm as the abductors were zooming off, troops of the AHQ Garrison on duty swiftly engaged the abductors in a pursuit using motorcycles and eventually apprehended the Airman and the vehicle with the assistance of a passerby while his civilian accomplices fled and escaped.

“The victim was rescued unharmed while the Airman is currently in custody of AHQ Gar Provost Group for further action.”

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