EBONYI, Nigeria – Two suspected kidnappers were at the weekend reportedly killed while in a gun battle with police whereas three others were captured alive.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Loveth Odah, who made this known while parading the suspects, said police engaged the suspected kidnappers in a gun battle, and were able to arrest some of them while two died during the gun duel.
It was gathered that the suspects were arrested in different cases.
In one of the cases, three business persons from Enugu who went to do their business in Ezzagu, Ishielu local government area of Ebonyi state were kidnapped by the village executives and held them hostage for three days without food.
One of those that kidnapped the three persons in Ishielu, Ebonyi state, Nonso Ugboh said “there were some persons from Enugu who came to our community to sell some goods including indomie noodles, pampers and others and were looking for a house. I rented a house for them and when they entered the house, they said they are now into another business. They said that when you give them N1000, in five days time, they will give you N1,500 and I gave them N3,000 to make N5,500
“When they finished collecting all the monies from our people, they wanted to run away. My villagers held them that they should bring their monies and started beating them. After beating them, they took them inside one house and told them they should refund all the monies they collected before releasing them.
“We held them hostage and demanded ransom from them to balance the people in our community they collected money from. We took them to the bush we call Sambisa and held three of them hostage. I am the PRO of Eguobodo United in our community and I am the one that was in charge of their hostage-taking and I am the one that introduced them to my community.
“They were to pay N200,000 before they would be released. We commanded the fair guy among the three persons to have sex with the lady that came with them to do their business and they had sex in our presence. I disguised as a mad man and collected the ransom on the three persons.
“When police stormed the forest we kept the three persons and started shooting, we started running and some of our colleagues fled with the girl to another forest. Those who fled with the girl are Kelechi Igwe, Tochukwu Otiokpo and Nnaemeka. I will help the police to trace them and rescue the girl, I promise to do this so that police can help me to come out of this problem. I have two daughters and my wife is heavily pregnant. I am on okada rider,” he said.
In the other kidnap case, a man in Awugu, Enugu state was kidnapped there and taken to Ikwo, Ebonyi state where they collected N1milion ransom.
They gave the man N5,000 to go back. But luck ran out of them when police got wind of it and stormed Ikwo and they abandoned the man’s vehicle they kidnapped him with and the N1million and fled.
Police were able to arrest one of them, Raphael Nworie from Nkanu East Enugu.
Nworie said “we kidnapped one man in Awgu, Enugu state on July 24 and brought him to Ikwo, Ebonyi State so that he cannot know where we came from. On our war going back, we parked on the road before police started shooting at us and we all entered the bush. In the morning, when I came out to find my way, I was caught by the villagers. Three others are still on the run, I was the only one that was arrested.
“The man gave us N1million cash as ransom and the money is in the man’s vehicle we kidnapped him with. We abandoned the money inside the vehicle and fled when we exchanged fire with the police. I have been in this business since two weeks and this is the first time we are kidnapping somebody.
“The man had food in his booth. When we dropped him in Ikwo, we gave him N5,000 and water. The man’s name is Obasi Chigozie. We forced the man to give us his ATM pin number and he released it to us. We then went to POS and withdrew the N1million.
“I am a taxi driver and it is one of my friends that introduced me into this business of kidnapping. He told me to join the business that I will be making more money,” he stated.
The Public Relations Officer, however, said that the police are making great efforts to rescue the girl that is still held hostage in the forest in Ezzagu by the fleeing kidnappers.