The Fulani kidnappers of two German archaeologists in the Abuja-Kaduna area would have killed them on Saturday if the security operatives trailing them had used force, a credible source said on Monday.
He also confirmed that the kidnappers, who operate within forests in Abuja, Niger, Kaduna and Nasarawa States, received a ransom from the middlemen involved in the negotiations before they freed their captives.
According to new information available, Professor Peter Breunij and his research fellow, Johannes Buringer, who were kidnapped last Wednesday, were transported into a bush path close to Kateri on the Kaduna-Abuja Expressway as soon as one of the kidnappers collected the ransom on behalf of his group.
Those that midwived the negotiation on behalf of the Germans picked them up and handed them over to one Dominic Muller, who led them to Abuja to brief the German Ambassador.
“The kidnappers were under intensive pressure from the combined forces of IG and Anti-Kidnapping Squad of Kaduna State Police Command and ground troops of Nigerian Army,” our source explained. “The squad on identifying the location were set to use force but the German Embassy officials on the other hand were interfacing with the kidnappers through middlemen opposed to using of force by the operation.”
He said the diplomats were scared that using force would result in a gun duel during which something fatal could happen. Conscious of that, they pleaded for consideration of such action to be suspended, claiming they had information from the kidnappers.
Following the men regaining their freedom, another source within the security agencies told our correspondent that the operatives are still working to track down the kidnappers and bring them to justice.
The Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, is said to be working on arresting the kidnappers and making them face prosecution.
They will be charged with kidnapping, and with the killing of two locals who had attempted to resist their abduction of the foreigners.