The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase has said the police force was not aware of any arrangement that resulted into payment of ransom to the kidnappers who abducted former Secretary to the government of the federation, Chief Olu Falae.
It is recalled that Falae had insisted on Monday that ransom was paid to the kidnappers to facilitate his release contrary to the statement by the police that they combed every nooks and crannies of Ondo State and succeeded in rescuing the elder statesman.
The IGP in a statement said, “As a law enforcement agency guided by rule of law and professional ethics, we do not under any circumstance encourage the payment of ransom to kidnappers or other criminals as it is tantamount to rewarding crime and motivating other criminals to follow that path. As such, the police was not privy to any arrangement that would have led to payment of ransom by the elder statesman or his family.
“For the respected Chief to declare that he paid a ransom for his release is therefore a demotivating news. Our approach was a professional response to what we saw as a crime against a respected national personality known to embrace peace and who has dedicated most of his valuable life to selfless service of our nation.”
The IGP further argued that the police deployed its unique intelligence and operational capabilities including police helicopters for aerial surveillance.
Arase added that the police’s intelligence and operational teams which comprised Intelligence Response Team, conventional and Mobile Policemen were deployed for the rescue operation.
According to the IGP, “They followed the path from the point of kidnapping at his farm at Ilado, along Igbatoro Road in Akure, Ondo State and trailed the hoodlums through bushes to Owo in Ondo State. In the process, we were able to identify the major actors and currently high level police activities are being put in place to apprehend and bring them to justice.
“As professionals, it is our conviction that the unprecedented and massive deployment of police resources and men to support search and rescue operations put pressure on the criminals to release the elder statesman. This is much so, that history has shown that even where ransom is proven to have been paid, the life or safe return of a kidnap victim may not be guaranteed. The primary interest of the police in this instance and granted the circumstances of the incident, was the safe rescue of Chief Olu Falae, which was achieved.
“Whatever the family did as regards payment of ransom was outside the knowledge and consent of the police.
“In this instance, having confirmed that ransom was paid to the abductors, the police will be interested in widening their investigative scope with a view to exploring the lead further with regards to how payment was made and to whom such payment was made.
“If the payment was perfected through bank transaction, the police have the capacity to track such transactions and will be liaising with the bank to enable us trace the cash and apprehend the perpetrators. This could be an added lead that could strengthen ongoing post-kidnapping efforts of the police.”