The police in Imo State have shot dead three members of a suspected kidnap gang operating at Njaba in Njaba Local Government Area of the State. Briefing Newsmen in Owerri, the Commissioner of Police Imo state Command Mr. Chris Ezike said the suspects were killed during a gun battle with the police while five other members of the gang including an official of the Nigeria Prisons Service Owerri have been arrested in connection with the crime.
According to our reporter, thirty eight persons were paraded at the Police command’s headquarters in Owerri over their alleged involvement in various crimes which include stealing, cultism and child trafficking. The kidnap suspects whose activities were said to have been coordinated by two of their members who had been awaiting trial at the Federal Prisons Owerri met their waterloo on Thursday when they were about to carry out an operation.
Spokesman for the Imo State Police Command, DSP Andrew Enwerem, who narrated the incident to journalists alleged that an official of the Owerri prisons identified as Emmanuel Anyadike served as a link between the two inmates and other members of the gang. According to DSP Enwerem, the police working on a tip off stormed the den of the suspects which led to a heavy exchange of fire.
“These particular eight syndicates were on kidnap/armed robbery mission which was coordinated incidentally by two notorious inmates serving at the ATM Owerri prisons and following the intelligence gathered the operatives of the men swiftly responded and during exchange of fire three of them were gunned down. This AK47 with empty magazine, one locally made gun and weeds suspected to be Indian hemp were recovered from them, incidentally one of them is a Prison warden.”
While some of the suspects narrated their involvements in Kidnapping, the prison official, Emmanual Anyadike, denied any involvement.
“I did not engage in anything like this, rather somebody gave me five thousand naira to give his brother which I don’t even know the brother. He only gave me the number of the brother, then after I closed my duty after seven o’ clock. He now asked me to wait for him at Orji Town Primary School, when I brought the money to give him I don’t know that those men are police, they now catch me.”
Similarly, the Police clamped down on another kidnap gang that uses a commercial bus belonging to a popular mass transit company in the country to convey their victims. The driver of the bus who gave his name as Nkejimka Samuel confessed to the crime. They kidnapped one man so they collected the money they use their Audi to carry the man, so they now call me, am the one that lead them for my own bus to carry them to the hotel room.
Also paraded was a 20 year old Chioma Fidelis who allegedly connived with her relation to sell her two year old baby boy to a couple at the cost of ₦700.00. Chioma in an interview spoke in pigin English.
“Na mistake Naemti take in and in no get who go help me treat the child so that make the pikin no die that’s why I now do like that, the time wey I sell the pikin they no tell me how much wey they sell the pickin.”
The couple who was in dire need of a male child said they bought the baby on compassion claiming that the little boy was sick and malnourished at the time of the transaction as narrated by Salome Anyanwu, the foster mother of the boy.
“They persist that it is seven hundred thousand naira, my husband gave them six hundred thousand, when they bring this baby for my husband, my husband sent him village to me, I said what, is this a baby? I wanted to reject it, due to for God, I carried the baby to hospital. If you see his leg it was like a broom leave. I have only women children six.
The State Commissioner of Police Mr. Chris Ezike attributed the successes recorded to new strategies adopted by the command.
“The synergy between the police and the communities has assumed a dimension that can make all of us laugh, and of course we have looked at the capacities of our officers and we have taken people to where we feel they belong so the results are coming. We will continue to frisk around even people we have in custody to see what capacities they have to be in custody and coordinate activities outside custody that is a little bit worrisome.”
Mr. Ezike said the suspects would appear in court as soon as investigations were concluded.