Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
The Imo State Police Command on Sunday, said two kidnap victims, were freed last Thursday while nine suspected kidnappers were arrested after police operatives raided the suspects’ hideouts in Ahiazu Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State.
Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Michael Abattam, disclosed this in a statement to newsmen while parading the suspects at the Command’s headquarters in Owerri.
The police gave the names of the victims, who they said were kidnapped on April 30, 2022, as Dominic Chukwuma and Silas Nnawubia.
Police said the two suspected kidnappers arrested, Obinna Onuoha age 35 years, a native of Umuegwu Mpam and one Igbokwe Joseph aged 35 years, a native of Umuchoko Ihitte Aforukwu, both natives of Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo State, were the ones who led the operatives to the hideouts of the other suspects that led to their arrest.
“Following a report of the kidnapping of one Dominic Chukwuma and Silas Nnawubia respectively, received by the Command’s Anti-Kidnapping Unit on 30th April 2022. The Operatives immediately swung into action. After gathering both credible and technical intelligence where the radar revealed the location of the criminal’s hideout in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo State.
“The police operatives on 5/5/2022 at about 23:50 hours stormed the kidnappers’ den and arrested one Obinna Onuoha age 35 years, a native of Umuegwu Mpam and Igbokwe Joseph age 35 years, a native of Umuchoko Ihitte Aforukwu, both natives of Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo State and the victim held in captive was gallantly rescued unhurt.”
The Police continue: “In the course of interrogation, the suspects confessed to the crime of kidnapping and revealed how they escaped from Imo Correctional Centre Jailbreak of 5th of April 2021, and after they escaped, they got a safe hideout in Ahiazu Mbaise, formed a kidnapping syndicate with their hideouts in strategic areas in the State. And have been the ones involved in most of the deadly kidnapping incidents recorded in the state.
“The suspects later took the police operatives to their various hideouts in the state where most of their gang members were arrested. Those arrested include Tochi Chilak ‘Male’ 27 years, a native of Ezeala Ihitte in Aboh Mbaise LGA of Imo State, Sunday Richard ‘Male’ 32 years, a native of Ikom in Cross River State, Comfort Ogbo ‘F’ age 35 years, a native of Gwer West in Naka LGA of Benue State, Igbo Simeon ‘Male’ 33 years, a native of Gwer West in Naka LGA of Benue State, Cyril Iwuagwu ‘Male’ 65 years, a native of Umegwu Mpam in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo State, Nkechinyere Ibe ‘F’ age 35 years, a native of Umuoyoka Ihitte Aforukwu in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo State, Ebo Ubochi ‘Male’ 26 years, a native of Umuaraku in Ehime Mbano LGA of Imo State.
“On searching the kidnappers’ hideouts thoroughly, the following items were recovered. They include one AK47 rifle, breech number 1142 with eighty-four rounds of live ammunition, four locally made Pistols, forty-six rounds of live cartridges, one Toyota 4Runner SUV vehicle belonging to the victim, multiple banks ATM cards stolen from their victims and the personal belongings of the victim. Meanwhile, the victims have since been reunited with their family members and an aggressive manhunt is on to arrest the remaining members of the syndicate at large,” Police said.