August 23, (THEWILL) – The lmo State Police Command revealed that one suspected kidnapper has been neutralised while five suspects have been arrested, coupled with the rescue of four kidnapped victims.
In a release, made available to newsmen at the weekend and signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) CSP Michael Abattam, the command stressed that this was made possible by police tactical teams.
He said, “Sequel to a report of kidnapping, on 19/8/2021 at about 1800 hours, by one Obinna Odika ‘M’ of Human Race Estate Naze in Owerri North LGA of Imo State, that his wife and three children, namely: Chinenye Odika ‘F’ age 27 years, Chika Mark ‘F’ age 9 years, Chisom Mark ‘F’ age 14 years and Princess Odika ‘ F’ age 6 months all of Human Race Estate Naze , Owerri North LGA of Imo State, were kidnapped by unknown gun men in their Estate.
“The Imo State command’s Control Room, immediately disseminated the report to all the police formations and tactical units for prompt interception and arrest of the kidnappers .
“On the same day at about 2230 hours luck ran against the kidnappers, when the ever active Ngor Okpala police Division Patrol Team, on receipt of the report, intensified its patrols and in the process intercepted and arrested three members of the kidnapping gang namely: Udochukwu Edmund ‘M’ age 38 years of Umuezu Onitsha Ezinihitte in Mbaise LGA of Imo State, Uba Edmund ‘M’ age 45 years of same address, John Okoroafor ‘ M ‘ age 33 years of Amucha Isu Njaba LGA of Imo State, and handed them over to the Command’s Anti-kidnapping unit for diligent investigation.”
CSP Abattam highlighted that, on interrogation, the suspects confessed to the crime and led the team to their hideout in a forest in Ngor Okpala LGA.
He stated that on sighting the police, the kidnappers fired at them and the police retaliated and in the gun duel, one of the kidnappers was neutralised while two others were arrested with bullet injuries.
Abattam further stated: “On searching their hideout, one pump action gun, three locally made Pistols, fourteen rounds of live cartridges and three hundred and sixty-one thousand naira (#361,000.00) suspected to be part of the ransom money collected were recovered. Also recovered are one sea blue coloured Sienna vehicle with registration number IMO STATE, WER 969 ZE and a motorcycle with registration number KWE 310 QX used by the suspects in kidnapping the victims.
“On further interrogation, the arrested suspects revealed where the kidnapped victims were kept and led the ever active and gallant tactical teams of the command to Central Primary School, Mbutu Okeohia in Ngor Okpala LGA of Imo State, where the four kidnapped victims were rescued safe, unhurt and have been reunited with their families.”
The PPRO indicated that the two injured suspects were taken to the Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, for medical treatment, while efforts are on to arrest the remnants of the syndicate for prosecution.
The Commissioner of Police, Imo State Command, Hussaini Rabiu, while commending the quick response of the command’s officers and men and the gallantry exhibited in the rescue of the kidnapped victims, advised the people of the state to always report incidents promptly to the police for timely intervention of the Command’s Quick Response Units.
He also called on Imo citizens to assist the command with credible information and to report any suspicious activity observed within their environment to the nearest police station or call the command’s emergency numbers : 08034773600 and 08098880197.