Police Operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested thirty-five suspects across the country for their active involvement and participation in series of kidnapping, armed robbery and other heinous crimes across the country. The arrest, according to a statement by DCP Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, is sequel to the unrelenting efforts by the Force to rid the country of criminals and to get justice for victims of these crimes.
Notable among the arrests, he said, is a criminally minded pastor, Adetokumbo Adenopo ‘m’ 52 years, Founder and General Overseer of New Life Ministry, Lukosi, in Shagamu Area of Ogun State and three other members of his criminal gang namely; Chigozie Williams 22 years, native of Umuahia North, Abia State, Ugoji Linus 30 years, native of Ezinifite in Imo State and Emmanuel Chris Ani, 27 years, native of Aniri in Enugu State, all responsible for the kidnap for ransom of one Jonathan Ekpo ‘m’ 35 years from Benue State.
“Curiously, the pastor told the Police operatives that he embarked on the crime for the expansion of his church and charity works. The victim, an employee of a logistic company was kidnapped on 17th July, 2020 while on official duty to deliver goods in Shagamu, Ogun State. The victim was kept in an underground cabin inside the Pastor’s church building in Ogijo town, Ogun State by his abductors who demanded the payment of twenty million naira ransom as condition for his release. He was subsequently rescued unhurt nine days after and reunited with his family by the Police.
“Similarly, the Police also arrested one Udodiri Bright aka Ability ‘m’ 30 years old, native of Osuachara Village, Isiala Mbano LGA of Imo state and three others, Ekwuru Shadrack aka Escobar ‘m’ 26 years native of Arondizuogu village in Okigwe LGA of Imo state, Chimerie Igwe aka 4real ‘m’ 30 years old, native of Umucheke Village in Orlu LGA of Imo State and Chibuike Sunday, 28 years old from Arondizuogu of Imo State. They were arrested on the 5th of July, 2020 for the abduction and killing of a Nigerian US Soldier, Chuks Okebata who came into Nigeria for holidays in his home town, Okigwe, Imo State in 2017. The suspects who are one of the foremost kidnapping groups terrorizing the South Eastern part of the country were arrested 31 months after, following intensive manhunt by the Police team.
“The Police team also arrested a 9-man trans-boundary armed robbery and car snatching syndicate led by one Yakubu Hayatu, 30 years from Borno State. Members of the gang include; Adamu Awalu, 28 years from Kano State, Abdulrahman Yakubu, 23 years from Zaria, Yususf Adamu, 22 years from Zaria, Kamal Japhet, 22 years from Katsina, Abubakar Samaila, 20 years from Zaria, Muhammadu Abdulahi, 20 years from Zaria, Yahaya Mohammed, 18 years from Kaduna State and Ibrahim Abubakar, 21 years from Kwara. Investigations reveal that the syndicate has snatched over thirty exotic cars at gun point and killed two Policemen. They use anti-tracker devices to evade arrest and deliver the vehicles to one Alhaji Garba in Maradi, Niger Republic. Eighteen vehicles have so far been recovered by the Police team. The team is working with the INTERPOL to apprehend Alhaji Garba and to recover the remaining vehicles.
“Exhibits recovered include: 4 Ak47 Rifles, 1 FMC rifle, 1 Pump Action Gun, 2 double barrel guns, 1 Beretta pistol, 4 AK47 Magazine, 6 cartridges, 378 Rounds of live Ammunition, 1 Network Jammer (anti-tracker device), others.”
While noting that the suspects will be charged to court on conclusion of investigations, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, Mba said, “assures that the battle against criminal elements in the country is a continuous one.”