According to him, since the only rich folks he knew were in his community, he decided to focus on kidnapping them for ransom. He was the person that gave his gang information about two of his community members, Dipdat and Dandong. Both men have filling stations. One of them would later pay N15million as ransom. Before his eventual arrest, Mathew (29) was alleged to have become a terror in the community that many feared and trembled at the mention of his name.
Police investigation alleged that Mathew and his gang members had carried out several robberies and kidnappings. A police source said: “Mathew is known for kidnapping and armed robbery. He kidnapped two prominent sons of the community, who are owners of four petrol fillings stations. The two victims are Dipdat and Dandong.
Mathew was arrested along with his informants, Jordan Laguma and Sunana Douglas.” Revealing the modus operandi of Mathew, a police source said: “What the suspect usually does is to gather sufficient information about his victims. Then he would invite members of his gang, who are mainly Fulani herdsmen.
These herdsmen are led by Jagoro Umaru. They are usually armed with AK47 rifles. Once they abduct their victims, they take them into the forest before contacting family members for ransom. Matthew’s notoriety is well known to everyone within his community, but none dares to confront him for fear of losing their lives.
” Mathew and gang’s Waterloo began after his last operation, in which he abducted Dandong and collected N15million before releasing him. After Mathew collected the mouth-watering sum and released Dandong, members of the community became incensed and their anger overcame their fears.
The community members teamed up and wrote a petition to the IGP, Adamu Mohammed, detailing Mathew’s atrocities. The IGP swiftly deployed IRT operatives, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Abba Kyari, to investigate the activities of Mathew and gang. Sunana Douglas, a famer, who is a close friend to Dandong, was the first suspect arrested by IRT operatives.
He told police that he was the person that gave information about Dandong’s location and his movements to Matthew. It was based on the information that Mathew grabbed Dandong. Douglas admitted receiving N1m from Mathew as his share of the ransom. After the arrest of Douglas, operatives used him as bait to catch Mathew and two other suspects, Jordan Laguma and Namoo Damsu.Remembering how he joined the gang, Matthew said that he was a primary school dropout.
He said that his parents became financially down following a crisis in Jos. Mathew said: “I couldn’t feed myself, and I was arrested then by the police and taken to prison for stealing a motorcycle. In February 2018, my life took a new turn. I met Jagoro Umaru, a Fulani herdsman.
He used to rear cows in my community. He approached and asked me to join his gang. I accepted because I had no job since my release from prison. I went with them for an operation. There were eight persons in his gang, and we robbed traders in Taraba State.” Mathew said that on the day of the operation, he and his gang members attacked traders returning from the market, mainly Fulani cattle dealers. The merchants were returning from market, loaded with money. The suspect said: “We attacked so many people on my first mission. I was given N60, 000 as my share.
I was the person that brought the second job. I brought the gang into my community and we kidnapped a rich businessman known as Dipdat. He has two filling stations. I pointed out the target’s house, but I didn’t go with the gang to kidnap him. Dipdat was taken away on a motorbike into a bush in Bauchi State. Three days later, the gang called and gave me N1.5million.
There was a man known as Jordan, who I used to seek information from about Dipdat, before we kidnapped him. I told Umaru that we had to give him some money. I was given N1million to give Jordan.” Mathew said that in November 2018, he approached Douglas, who was close to another rich man in the community called Dandong. Dandong also has two filling stations. “I told Douglas that I wanted to kidnap the man. I told him that I needed information about the man’s movement. I promised to reward him handsomely if he gave me the information. A week after our conversation, Douglas called and informed me that the businessman was around. He said that I should come with my men. I called Umaru. He came and we kidnapped Dandong and took him to Taraba State. We kept him captive for three day and his family paid N15m as ransom. I was given N2.5m and Douglas got N1.2m.”
Luguma, who police alleged was another informant of Mathew’s in the community, denied the allegation. He, however, admitted receiving N1million from Mathew. Laguma, who is married with five children, said that he deals in timber. He said that his troubles started after he received a call from Mathew, known as a ‘hit man’ in the community. His words: “I was arrested because a man known as a hit man called me to come for a meeting in Jos. After the meeting, I saw policemen who asked about Jordan. I told them that I was Jordan. I was arrested and taken into their van. It was in the van that I saw Matthew and Douglas.”