The Imo State Police Command on Monday paraded a gang of suspected kidnappers and armed robbers who have been terrorizing the state, among whom were a traditional ruler from Obor Awarra in Ohaji Egbema Local government area, Eze Andrew Okuegbunuwa.
According to the State’s Commissioner of Police, Mr Isaac Akinmoyede, a total of 31 suspects involved in various crimes ranging from sexual and gender based crimes like incest, defilement, rape, to heinous ones like armed robbery and kidnapping were arrested.
He said that on 19 July 2020, a gang of kidnappers came into Owerri metropolis at different locations and kidnapped one Louis Obodo, aged 45, of Mgbala AGWA and others. However, while escaping with the victims, operatives of Anti Klidnapping Unit and Special Anti – Robbery (SARS) gave them a hot chase forcing them to abandon three of their victims and their operational vehicle – a Lexus 330 SUV with Reg. number EDO URM 40 EL.
However few days later, SARS operative discovered the abandoned vehicle and recovered it.
Through painstaking and diligent investigation, police arrested one Eze Andrew Okuegbunuwa, aged 59 old, of Obor community in Awara Ohaji Egbema LGA in connection with the kidnap.
Further investigation revealed that the suspect provided operation vehicle for the kidnappers and having lost the vehicle in the operation, the Eze was given the sum of N3million naira to replace the vehicle.
Other suspects arrested include one Mr Benard Uzoma, a native doctor at umunoha in Mbaitoli local government, who provided the gang with charms to protect them from death and arrest. Uzoma was paid N200, 000 as his own share from th total sum of N7. 5m paid for the release of their two victims.
Recovered items include N4.2m cash, 4 Ak47 rifles , one LAR rifle , one SMG belonging to a slain NDLEA officer, 120 round of 7.62mm life ammunition, three motor cycle and 1 Lexus 330 SUV.
Other suspects paraded include one Pastor Joseph Anthony of Living Faith Church, Njaba who was arrested for the defilement an 11year-old daughter of his fellow pastor, one Chukwuma Okoronkwo who accommodated him in their house.
On the day of the incident, the said Joseph took advantage of the fact that his colleague was not at home to rape the victim.
However, Pastor Joseph Anthony denied commiting a crime, saying that he was tempted to commit the offence.
The police boss said investigation is at advance stage and the susoects will be charged to court soon.