..Detectives pick up 22 suspected abductors, including soldier, Abuja civil servant
..3 alleged kidnappers of Asaba DPO also seized
..2 employees who planned own kidnaps arrested
By Emma Amaize
ASABA- THE Police in Delta State have turned the heat on kidnappers, robbers, cultists and other criminals in the state, busting kidnap gangs and arresting 22 suspected kidnappers, including a Kaduna-based soldier, Federal Capital Territory, FCT civil servant, abductors of a Divisional Police Officer, DPO, and employees who masterminded their kidnaps, in the last few weeks. Kidnappers of Asaba DPO: Commissioner of Police, Mr. Zanna Ibrahim, who briefed newsmen in Asaba, said in one of the kidnap cases involving the abduction of the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, “C” Division, Asaba, SP Valentine Mbalu, four suspects, Suleiman Ibrahim, Abubakar Mohammed, both from Adamawa State and Auta Mohammed, who hails from Kaduna state have been apprehended.
He disclosed that on March 5 at about 4.00 pm, “A kidnapping gang kidnapped SP Valentine Mbalu, DPO “C” Division, Asaba, to an unknown destination. Eight days after the incident, two suspects viz: Yusuf Hamidu ‘m’ a native of Kankia, in Kankia L.G.A of Katsina state and Suleiman Ibrahim ‘m’ a native of Imalope in Adamawa State, but residents in Iyamu, Benin City were arrested.
“Following their arrest, Suleiman Ibrahim confessed to the crime and also made some useful statements. Based on his statement, on 01/04/2017, at about 0130hrs, one Abubakar Mohammed ‘m’ 47years, a native of Kiani in Kiani L.G.A of Adamawa State and Auta Mohammed ‘m’ 37years, a native of Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, all resident in Benin-City, were tracked down. Both confessed to the crime and also made some useful statements that are now helping the police in the investigation.”
Nemesis for interstate kidnap gang
The police boss also narrated how detectives busted an interstate kidnap gang operated by a soldier, civil servant and others was exposed. He said: One Mrs. Beauty Aya ‘f’ was kidnapped on 4/4/2017, in her residence by Omede Street, Warri, and taken to Yenegoa in Bayelsa State on 6/4/2017, but based on information received from Bayelsa State Police Command, the Delta State Police swung into action and took custody of two of the confessed kidnappers named, L/CPL Zikena Williams ‘m’, attached to 2 Battalion Kaduna and Tom Yakubu ‘m’ of Federal Ministry of Works, Abuja.
“The victim, one Beauty Aya ‘f’ 28 years, who was kidnapped at her residence at Emede Street, Warri on 4/3/2017, at Bayelsa was rescued 0n 6/4/2017. Effective intelligence network led to the arrest of the mastermind of the kidnap, one Nelson Omote ‘m’, age 34years, of 13 Omade Street, Warri.
“On 7/4/2017 at about 1845 hours, the following items were recovered from his residence: one naval face cap and their operational Toyota Carina Wagon with Reg. No KSF 382 BF. This also led to the arrest of one Esther Okako ‘f’ of No. 255 Maternity road Warri, who was an accomplice in the act. Investigation is still ongoing,” he added.
Busting a 5-man hijack gang
His words: “On 04/07/2017, at about 0920hours, a-five-man kidnap gang went into Eregbe primary school, Orerokpe and kidnapped one Agege Mercy while inside the class room. Two suspects, One Saturday Oyonvime ‘m’ and Enwighene Avwenyere, earlier arrested confessed to the crime and were subsequently charged to court and remanded in Sapele Federal prisons.”
“Other suspects involved in the case took flight. However, on the 28/03/2017, at about 1400hrs, one Ogaga Ogbemudia ‘m’ of Okpara Inland town in Ethiope South L.G.A of Delta state was arrested. He has also confessed to the crime and has made useful statement that is helping investigation,” he asserted.
Strange phone caller nabbed
In another kidnap case in which two persons, a 24-year-old Okona and 23-year-old Rita, both from Anambra state are cooling their heels in police cell, he said a faceless caller, on March 1, called the victim, Uche Morah, an indigene of Asaba residing in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on phone with the GSM number hidden, demanding N1 million ransom or he would be abducted.
“The faceless caller sent a Zenith Bank account No. 6235225378 with the account name – Rita Chinyere Popular to the complainant and ordered him to pay the sum of five hundred thousand naira (N500, 000.00) into the aforementioned bank account so that the threat would not be carried out.
“The complainant, out of fear, transferred the sum of fifty thousand naira to the said bank account. After this development, the suspect(s) threw a hand written warning note into the complainant’s room at Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
Report and the intelligence
“Based on the report, State Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Squad, SAKCCS, operatives commenced investigation and unmasked the hidden phone number as 08121094592 and arrested the suspects, who are currently helping the police in investigation,” the commissioner said.
Self- kidnapper: In a side-splitting case of self kidnapping and one another, a 40-year-old driver, Emeka, also from Anambra State, 25-year-old Lucky Obinudo and Tochukwu Ejikeme, were arrested for Ejikeme’s kidnap allegedly masterminded by him.
Commissioner Ibrahim said: “On 25/03/2017, at about 1430hours, one Uchenna Ezealor ‘m’ of 16 Odom Street, Asaba, reported that on 23/03/2017, at about 1700hours, his driver one Emeka Ejiekeme ‘m’ was kidnapped along Cenotaph Road, Asaba, by unknown persons. Based on the report and the intelligence gathered with the aid of Asaba Vigilante men, one Lucky Obinudo ‘aka’ KIDO WOUNDER ‘m’ of Isioma Onyeobi way, Asaba was arrested.
“He confessed to the crime and led the investigating team to the house of one John Okereke at Nkpor, Anambra State where Emeka Ejiekeme was arrested. The said Emeka confessed that he was the person that planned his own kidnap. Investigation into the case is in progress,” he asserted.
Another self-kidnapper: In yet another self-kidnap case, the police chief asserted: “On the 10/4/2017, at about 1000hours, the complainant, one Amrasa Emudiale Ambrose ‘m’ of Olotu Street, Ughelli sent his employee, Covenant ‘m’ to buy petrol from a nearby filling station. The said Covenant went as directed but did not return back.”
“On the next day being 11/04/2017, Covenant and the other three suspects along with others still at large used a GSM number 07089876516 to call the complainant informing him that Covenant has been kidnapped. They demanded for the sum of N1 million as ransom for the release of Covenant. However, the number was tracked and it was discovered that Covenant, the supposed victim, was in fact the one, who conspired and planned his own kidnap alongside the other members of the gang. Case is still under investigation,” he added