Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 24 September 2015 | 5,492 times
A group of kidnappers yesterday in Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, engaged men of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in a gun combat, at the end of which four of the suspects were arrested.
The three-year old daughter of Pastor Louis Okeke of foursquare church in Awka, Miss Kamsi Okeke, was rescued in the course of the gun battle.
News Express gathered that the girl was kidnapped in her father’s house at Ngozika Estate in Awka by the gang at 9pm last week Wednesday.
Officers of SARS led by its state commander, James Nwafor, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), had in an effort to save the kidnapped girl went round the state but time ran out of the kidnappers yesterday as the girl was rescued yesterday.
The suspects had earlier demanded N15 million from the parents but later reduced it to N3 million.
The leader of the gang, it was learnt, was the motor mechanic of the pastor, father of the victim.
The suspects forced the pastor and his wife Franca to part with their Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards, where they emptied the accounts of the couple.
Though, the state police command did not confirm the incident yesterday, one of the senior police officers in the state said that the gun battle with the kidnap suspects took place early morning yesterday.
The source, who spoke on anonymity said one of the wounded suspects during the gun duel was arrested and has helped the command to arrest three other suspects who were members of the gang.
The source said: “It was not an easy battle with those hoodlums at Nteje, where they kept the small girl but nothing happened to our men.
“The condition of one of the suspects with bullet wounds is critical, but he is receiving treatment.
“Those suspects destroyed the man’s house with bullets, even three days after their daughter was kidnapped, they removed the man and his wife’s ATM and derail their accounts.”
The parents of the child, Pastor and Mrs. Louis and Franca Okeke, yesterday commended the gallantry of SARS in the state in rescuing their daughter without paying any ransom to the kidnappers.
The couple expressed relief on seeing their daughter alive. They said: “We almost became dead persons but today, we can sleep and give thanks to God for keeping our daughter alive.
“Since this incident took place on Wednesday, 16th September, 2015, our house has not known peace, but God has used SARS in the state to wipe our tears, the commander of SARS in the state, James Nwafor has never rested since that time with his men.”
•Photo shows Anambra Police Commissioner Hosea Karma.
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