Operatives of the Inspector General of Police’s Special Intelligence Response Team, have arrested members of a kidnap gang notorious for selling children in Abia State.
The arrested members of the kidnap gang include Kenneth Anaba, Emmanuel Izuchukwu, Ikechukwu Ajagbu, Joshua Samuel, Emmanuel Azumara, Chinedu Samuel, Ukonu Anurika, Chidinma Okpara, Chimezie Okpara and Favour Christopher. The suspects were reportedly arrested after they kidnapped a woman in September 2018, in Aba, Abia State, and collected a ransom of $13,000 (approximately N4.7m at the official exchange rate of N363 to $1) from the hostage’s relatives before she was released.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari headed the team of IRT operatives that tracked down the suspects, after the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, received several complaints about the gang’s activities in the state.
Members of the kidnap gang notorious for selling children had escaped from Abia State Police Command’s Criminal Investigation Department in 2017, and reportedly stole some police rifles and went on to form different dangerous kidnapping gangs across the state.
Punch reported that after the IRT operatives stormed Abia State and interacted with some kidnapped victims, they discovered that the leader of one of the gangs terrorising the state, Kenneth Anaba, was part of the group of the inmates who escaped from Abia State Police Command’s State Criminal Investigation Department with police rifles, in 2017.
Anaba’s gang broke up and the other faction began to kidnap and sell little children. Anaba was trailed to his hideout at Ogbor Hill area of Abia State and he was arrested with the help of one of his girlfriends. It was further gathered that an AK-47 rifle belonging to the police was recovered from him, and he confessed to have carried out several kidnappings in Abia State.
Speaking to newsmen, the 29-year-old suspect revealed that he was arrested after his first operation, as the vehicle which was snatched from the man they kidnapped was tracked to him.
“I was arrested early last year when some of my friends and I kidnapped a man with my car along Force Road and we took the man to our camp at Ogbor Hill, where he was for four days until a ransom of N500,000 was paid.
“My share of the money was N150,000; I also took possession of the man’s vehicle, a Toyota Highlander, which I took to a hotel around Ogbor Hill. The police tracked the vehicle to where I was and I was arrested. I was detained at State CID, Umuhia, and I led the police to arrest my friend known as Chikodi Akoma, who introduced me to kidnapping,” he said.
On how he was able to escape with his cohort, Anaba said;
“While we were in custody the gate of the cell was left open so we stole five police rifles and escaped. I went to Aba where I started robbing people with the guns we stole.”
He explained how he recruited his friends to join his notorious gang and they began rob in the state.