The Imo State police command has just arrested a traditional ruler and 7 others for allegedly kidnapping a police inspector and others in Imo State, Nigeria.
This traditional ruler, whose name is Eze Andrew Okwuegbunwa of Uba -Agwa autonomous community in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State, was on the 3rd of August, paraded alongside his cousin, a pastor and others for allegedly kidnapping one police inspector, Oscar Mbaeri and Louis Obodo. All kidnapped victims are from the same community.
Other members of this deadly gang covered by the King himself include Chigozirim Festus, from Egwelu Atta, Njaba, Anyanwu Amarachi, and Desmond Okonkwo. Their names were shared by the State Police Commissioner of Police, Isaac Akinmoyede who briefed newsmen on the development.
According to the Commissioner of Police, this deadly gang has at different locations in Owerri, the capital of Imo state, successfully kidnapped their victims but they were not lucky enough to escape from the hot chase of the Anti – kidnapping Unit of the command who got a hint of their operation and was there to foil their plans.
During the chase by the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, the suspects were forced to abandon three of their victims and their operational vehicle, a Lexus RX330 SUV with the registration number (Edo) URM -40 EL. However, they were able to escape with two victims on foot.
However, a few months later, according to the Imo state commissioner of Police, SARS operatives arrived at the scene and recovered the abandoned vehicle.
The SARS team and the Anti- Kidnapping Unit carried out a thorough investigation which led to the arrest of the 59-year-old King, who has since confessed to be the owner of the car used for the kidnapping.
According to the CP, investigation has revealed that the monarch has constantly made available his vehicle for the gang operation, and after every successful operation, he always receives his cut.
Akinmoyede further disclosed that the investigation carried out by the Anti- Kidnapping Unit and SARS team revealed that the monarch was given N3 million from the N7. 5 million ransom collected from their victims to replace his damaged car.
When newsmen accosted the monarch to hear his own side of the report, he confessed hiring his vehicle to the gang and receiving the money from the gang.
The King said and I quote below:
I don’t know that is what they usually use the car for whenever they come to hire it, but they give me money each time they return the car. So far, I have collected money from them three or four times like this.”
The police also arrested the spiritual father of the gang, one Caleb Agu, a 42-year-old man who claimed to be a cleric from Umuoni – Agwa.
Members of this kidnapping gan also arrested include cousin to the monarch, Ebenezer Obioha, 38-year-old, and his pregnant wife, Ogechi Obioha a graduate of accountancy from Alvan Ikoku College of Education, Owerri believed to be their cook and banker.
Cousin to the king, Ebenezer Obioha also revealed that they have killed three National Drug Law Enforcement Agency(NDLEA) officials and use their guns for their operation.