The Nigeria Police Force have apprehended a seven-member notorious kidnapping gang that killed a US Army veteran, Chuks Okebata in Imo State in 2017.
Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, effected the arrest of the suspects.
The deceased, a Nigerian who was serving in the US army was holidaying in Okigwe when he was abducted and killed.
The suspects, Sunday Igwe, alias School Boy, Michael Ahmefula, Oyebuchi Echefule, Ndubusi Isaac, Victor D6agogo, Chima Okoro and John Edet were arrested last week.
The suspects admitted being members of a deadly armed robbery and kidnapping gang terrorizing Imo, Abia and Rivers States. Their leader, School-Boy, said that they never knew that the deceased was an American soldier and that they never planned to kill him. He said;
“He tried to disarm me and in the process was killed. If we had not killed him, he would have killed us. He is strong with tough muscles and the only way to save our lives was to kill him.
We bundled him into the boot of our operational vehicle after he was kidnapped. We didn’t know who he was. While we were heading to our camp where we hope to keep him until ransom is paid.
He pulled out his gun and started shooting at us from the boot and the bullet hit me on the leg and the driver on his hand.
Realizing the danger I asked our driver to stop the vehicle. As soon as the vehicle came to a halt we disarmed him. He was killed right there on the spot. We dumped his body inside a gutter and left. I want everyone to understand that I have no intention of killing him but he forced us into doing it,”
One of the suspects, Michael Ahamefuna, who is married with two children, recounts how he was introduced to crime
“I reside in Port Harcourt. I am from Abia state. I am a trader. I met School-boy in a smoking joint where we smoke drugs and he used to come and smoke drugs.
“He had injury on his leg back then and he took me to his village and we met one KC. We formed a kidnapping gang. We kidnapped a man who paid us N1.5million and we went to another business that paid us N15million.
We also picked someone in Owerri and we took the person to Iteam in Abia State. We got N10million from two victims, the last one that got us into trouble occurred in October 2018 and we lost our leader in that operation” he said.
By Dominic C. Odoh
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