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I supplied kidnap kingpin, Wadume, AK47 rifles –Gunrunner

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A mild drama played out yesterday at the Abuja office of the operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

A 45-year-old suspected gunrunner, Gbenga Ojomo Adebowale, who was in detention, heard operatives discuss the killings of their men and how suspected kidnap kingpin, Alhaji Hamisu Wadume, was at the centre of the storm.

When Adebowale heard the name, something jugged his memory and he remembered that he had encountered someone with that name.

When he asked more questions from IRT operatives and checked out the pictures of Wadume, he confirmed that it was the same brazen young man he supplied six AK47 rifles and four cartons of ammunition in April in Benue State.

Adebowale, who said that it was not his business to probe clients who buy guns from him on what they needed them for, recollected that one of his partners, Moses, told him that Wadume claimed that his frequent demands for rifles and ammunition were to confront herdsmen attacking in his community.

Adebowale denied knowing that Wadume, who appeared to have disappeared into thin air, was an alleged multi-millionaire suspected kidnap kingpin.

He said: “Our arms come from Burkina Faso and Ghana. Sometimes, about four or five years ago, I went to supply goods. The connection for the supply came from Moses. He said that the final destination was Markudi in Benue State. We used to create compartment in trucks, where we concealed the arms and ammunition, making it difficult for security agents to detect.

“When we got to Benue State, Moses introduced me to four men, including Julius and Hamisu. Back then, I thought Hamisu was from Benue State. But the other men with him were Tiv. In mafia business, we don’t really interact with our customers. After that encounter, Moses and I started going to Benue State to meet Julius, to supply weapons.”

Adebowale, who was arrested sometimes in June, disclosed that his gang imports the arms and ammunition from North Africa through Burkina Faso, Ghana and Benin Republic to Shaki in Oyo State.

He said that the police seized 6,000 live ammunition from him and his gang.

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The suspect also explained that each box of ammunition contains 750 rounds and sold for N300,000. The AF47 rifles, depending on the grades, were sold between N600,000 and N900,000 per carton.

Adebowale, who is married and has children, confessed that he had been in gunrunning business for 15 years and was based in Ibadan, Oyo State.

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