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"I was arrested because of my picture on Facebook” – Suspected kidnapper tells court

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
Safianu Abubakari (red shirt) and Abdul Rahman Suleiman, being escorted out of the court premises
Safianu Abubakari (red shirt) and Abdul Rahman Suleiman, being escorted out of the court premises

Two out of the eight men suspected to be behind the kidnapping of the two Canadian women in Kumasi have denied any knowledge and involvement in the criminal act.

Safianu Abubakar and Abdul Rahman Suleman told the Accra High Court yesterday that they did not take part in the kidnapping and neither did they help the alleged kidnappers to commit the crime.

Suleman, who is the owner of the car that was used to kidnap the two women, said he did not know that the people who hired his car were going to use it for kidnapping.

“If I had known the car was going to be used to kidnap someone, I would not have given it out,” he said.

Abubakar, on the hand, said he was arrested because he took a picture with Yusif Yakubu, one of the accused persons.

“Yusif Yakubu took a picture with me and posted it on Facebook. The police arrested me because of that picture.

I want to tell the court that I was not part of the gang that kidnapped the girls,” he said.

Abubakar and Suleman have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit the act of kidnapping.

More investigations needed

The prosecutor, Ms Hilda Craig, who is a senior state attorney, had informed the court earlier that Abubakar and Suleman were arrested together with the six other suspects but were granted a police enquiry bail.

According to her, Suleman was arrested because he owned the car that was used in kidnapping the women, while Abubakar was arrested because of his association with Yakubu, one of the alleged kidnappers.

She explained that the two were re-arrested after they were granted bail following investigations which revealed that they knew more than they had told the police.

“We have realised the need for further investigations and believe that there would be interference in investigations with them being on bail,” she said.

Ms Craig, therefore, pleaded with the court to remand the two accused persons for them to assist the police with investigations.

The court, presided over by Justice George Buadi, remanded Abubakar and Suleman into the custody of the Bureau of National Investigations.

Hearing continues on July 1, 2019.

Other accused persons

Six accused persons allegedly involved in the kidnapping of the two Canadian women were remanded by the court during its previous sitting on June 14, 2019.

They are Sampson Aghalor, aka Romeo, Elvis Ojiyorwe and Jeff Omarsar, Yusif Yakubu, Abdul Nasir and Seidu Abubakari, aka Nba.

They have been accused of playing various roles in the kidnapping of Miss Lauren Patricia Catherine Tiley and Miss Bailey Jordan Chilly, who were in Kumasi to participate in a youth programme on June 4, 2019.

All the accused persons have been charged with two counts of conspiracy to kidnap. Meanwhile, Aghalor, Ojiyorwe, Omarsar and Yakubu, have been charged additionally with two counts of kidnapping.