By Douglas Okoro
Abakaliki – The Ebonyi Police Command has arrested five suspected kidnappers that abducted one Mr Chigozie Igwe in front of his residence at Goddy Ogbaga Avenue in Abakaliki.
Mr Awosola Awotunde, the Commissioner of Police in Ebonyi, said in Abakaliki on Friday that the victim was kidnapped in his car.
Awotunde said that operatives of Anti-kidnapping wing of Operation Puff Adder immediately swung into action and the victim was rescued at Ukwuachi along Abakaliki/Enugu express road.
He stated that the kidnappers made away with the victim’s Samsung Galaxy Prime Core mobile phone, his Toyota Corolla car and the sum of N2,500.
He added that one Chibueze Opara, 33 years a suspected member of the gang was arrested on May 19 at Nkwegu Army barrack’s mammy market by operatives of PUFF ADDER.
According to him, the arrest of Okpara led the police team to Enugu state where the kidnap kingpin and other members of the gang including Chinedu Okorie, 31 and Chibuzor Onuigbo 30 were arrested.
Others arrested were Agbo Emmanuel, 31 and Taoreed Folawewo, 39.
Awotunde explained that the suspects were at different locations in Enugu State.
The CP said that items recovered from the gang include one locally made revolver pistol, two live AK 47 ammunition, one expended ammunition used during the operation and seven different brand of cars.
Awotunde said other cars recovered in the operation include; Toyota Corolla with Registration number, NCA 990 AA, Mercedes Benz S320 with Registration number AQ 01AAA, Toyota Avalon XLE with Registration number ENU 302 EQ and Corolla with Registration number MA 08 APP.
Others are Innoson jeep with Registration number NKE 719 EV, Ford Escape with Registration number FGE 415 TN and Honda Odyssey with Registration number ENU 905 RA.
The Police boss added that on May 31, one Friday Irem, 30 years old was attacked by a group of suspected cultists/armed bandits who inflicted several machete cuts on him and abandoned him in pool of his blood.
“Upon receipt of the information, operatives of Operation Puff Adder moved to the scene, rescued the victim and rushed him to the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki where he was however confirmed dead and his body deposited at the hospital mortuary for autopsy.
“Suspects arrested includes; Itumo Henry, Akoshi Chidera, Anthony Nwite, Onyebuchi Nwokporo, Usulor Sunday, Samuel Ngwuta, Abah Chukwudi, Peter while items recovered are 3 cutlasses and 2 Axes.
“In June, in a reprisal attack by the rival group, one Ifeanyi Alegu was traced and murdered at Onueke.
“The corpse was also recovered and deposited at the same hospital mortuary and the perpetrators who were later identified to be AYES/Vikings confraternity were arrested,” Awotunde said.
He said that three suspects Uchenna Igwe, Eusebius Chukwu, Augustine Usolor and Sunday Ugama had been arrested in connection with the crime.
He added that Operation Puff Adder while on Stop and Search at Amasiri in Afikpo North Local Government Area along market junction arrested one Ifeanyichukwu Uro, 21 and recovered one locally made pistol.
The CP said the command recovered assorted arms and ammunition including nine locally made long guns; one English made beretta pistol, one G.P.M.G riffle mouth, six English pump action, and two locally made pistols among others.
He called on the owners of the recovered vehicles to come forward with genuine proof of ownership to claim them.
“The command remains unwavering in its total determination and commitment at ridding the State of all form of crimes and criminalities,” he added.
He said that the suspects would soon be arraigned in court.