Two Zamfara State Sharia court judges who were kidnapped by bandits about two months ago have been released after paying N1 million ransom each.
The judges, Sabiu Abdullahi and Shafi’i Jangebe were abducted on their way back to Zamfara after a trip to the Niger Republic, though, it is unclear where exactly the judges were abducted by the bandits.
Initially, the abductors had asked the relatives of the judges to pay N10 million each, but the money was not available.
When the bandits realized that, the judges could not produce the amount after several days in captivity, they finally called their relations and asked them to bring whatever they could afford.
According to a report, a brother to one of the released judges, Hassan Samaru, said the bandits negotiated with him.
“When the bandits realized that we could not meet their demand for N20 million, they finally called us and told us to bring whatever we have.
“We paid two million for the two judges and they were released,” he said.
Speaking to The ICIR, Mohammed Shehu, Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, in Zamfara State did not reveal where the judges were kidnapped when asked why there was no police intervention to secure their release.
“The judges were not kidnapped under the jurisdiction of the police in Zamfara state but what I can tell you is that they have been released,” he said.
Zamfara has faced problems with armed bandits stealing cattle, kidnapping for ransom and attacking communities, which has prompted some residents to form vigilante gangs.
According to a report from the West Africa Network of Peacebuilding, WANEP, from January to December 2019, armed bandits were responsible for more than 1,000 civilian deaths in the Northwest.
The report says this number is greater than civilians killed by Boko Haram over the same period but less than the total number of casualties which includes soldiers and Boko Haram members. (Source: ICIR)