The Lagos State Police Command on Wednesday arrested a teacher and two others for allegedly kidnapping a 62-year-old woman, Kudirat Adeboye.
The teacher, Ifeanyi Chukwuleta, Kolawole Alani and Rasheed Adetunji were arrested while their gang leader, Niyi Omosola, was shot dead as he tried to collect N3million ransom.
The command also said it recovered one double barrel pistol, two expended cartridges and six live cartridges from the suspects.
The Commissioner of Police in the State, Kayode Aderanti, said a complaint was received by the Divisional Police Officer, Akodo Division that the sexagenarian was kidnapped on Eleko/Epe Expressway.
According to him, on receiving the information, he directed the officer in charge of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), DSP Abba Kyari, to fish out the hoodlums.
He said when the kidnappers contacted the victim's family, they initially demanded N50 million but later agreed to collect N3 million after six days of negotiation.
Aderanti said the OC SARS led two decoy operatives to Epe where the kidnappers re-directed the victim's son to Ijebu Ode road.
He said: "One of the kidnappers came out from the bush and collected the ransom but was pursued by SARS decoy operatives.
"When he noticed the presence of operatives, he opened fire on them and the police fired back at him and he sustained gunshot injuries.
"The wounded kidnapper, Omosola, led operatives to the forest where we rescued the victim. Omosola died later, but we arrested three more members of his gang," Kyari said.
Blaming poverty for his foray into kidnapping, Chukwuleta said: "I joined kidnapping because of poverty.
"I am a teacher and a teacher is supposed to be an exemplary figure but when the chips are down, what can a man do?
"My salary as a teacher is too paltry. I start begging for transport money in less than one week after receiving it.
"Whether you believe it or not, I am a good guy who was pushed into crime by poverty.
"My journey into crime was when I met our leader who has been killed by the police.
"My duty was to watch victims in the bush. I will be armed with cutlass and threaten victims that I would kill them if they tried to escape.
"I have watched over three victims, but I wept in the last one, that of the 62-year old woman who put us in this mess.
"When the woman was crying, I just knew she was old enough to be my mother and I started weeping too.
"I now unbound the woman and assisted her to escape.
"May God bear me witness, I did not know that our leader had gone to collect ransom and he was shot dead by the police," he said.