Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 16 April 2016 | 4,678 times
The Abia State Government has demolished four buildings at Etitiama Nkporo in Ohafia Local Government Area allegedly used as kidnappers’ den. The buildings at Ndinkefa compound in Amafo autonomous community, Nkporo, were used to habour suspected kidnappers who allegedly abducted a man at Aba and hid him in one of the demolished buildings.
However, luck ran out of the kidnappers as villagers, on noticing strange movements around the building, reported to the traditional ruler of the community who, in turn, alerted the army.
Soldiers from the 14 Brigade with barracks at Ohafia promptly stormed the area and arrested one of the suspects while the main culprit, Agbai Agbai Kalu from Ndinkefa compound in Mkporo, escaped.
Speaking with newsmen on Friday after the demolition exercise, the Security Adviser to the Governor, Captain Awa Udonsi Agwu (Rtd), said that the law prohibiting kidnapping in Abia provides that any building used to habour kidnappers should be demolished.
Agwu said that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu was serious about flushing out kidnappers in the state and would not hesitate in pulling down any building used for the crime.
He applauded security agencies in the state, especially the military, for being alive to their responsibilities and commended the indigenes of Mkporo for promptly reporting unusual movement in their vicinity to security agents without fear. Agwu urged Abians to always volunteer useful information to security agents.
Also speaking, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Godwin Adindu, assured that there would be no hiding place for criminals in the state, adding that any building used for kidnapping in the state will be demolished. He warned youths to desist from crime to avoid bringing hardship to their people.
In an interview, some residents of the area, namely Ezekiel Anyasam, Samuel Kalu and Mrs. Glory Anyasam, expressed sadness over the involvement of one of their own in the despicable act as their community is known to be peaceful. They said they never associated Agbai Agbai Kalu, who resides in Aba and visits home occasionally, with kidnapping.
News Express reports that troops of the 14 Brigade Garrison, Ohafia successfully destroyed a kidnap gang operating between Aba and Ohafia recently.
The Army Public Relations Officer of 14 Brigade, Major Sydney Mbaneme, disclosed this at a press conference on Monday, April 11, during which a suspected member of the kidnap gang, Chidiebere Sunday, 39, was paraded while items recovered from their hideout, including about N5 million cash, were displayed.
Mbaneme said the items recovered after a search of the house and a follow-up search the next day included N5,490,000, two AK 47 rifles, Police Special Pistol, nine magazines loaded with 124 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, two rounds of 9mm ammunition, six GSM handsets, RAV 4 Jeep marked Lagos MUS 428 RZ, and a generator, among others.
The Brigade Spokesman said that one member of the gang, who was identified as Ifeanyi, fell to his death while trying to escape through the roof of a nearby house after fleeing from the house where members of the gang were staying when the troops swooped on them.
He explained that the troops burst the gang on Friday, April 8, three days after they had abducted a man at Aba and took him to Nkporo where they kept their victim and demanded ransom for his freedom.
Major Mbaneme said that troops deployed to Abriba in Ohafia Local Government received a distress call about “suspicious persons in the area,” prompting the troops to respond immediately and swooped on the four-member gang in a house at Nkporo. He said that two of the hoodlums escaped, one was arrested while the fourth person jumped to his death.
Major Mbaneme said that the kidnap victim was freed and was receiving medical attention at an undisclosed hospital following gunshot wound he received from the kidnappers.
The captured kidnap suspect, Chidiebere Sunday, denied being a member of the gang. He told journalists that he was preparing for his father’s burial slated for Saturday (today) when he was invited by Ifeanyi to come and receive some financial assistance at Nkporo.
Sunday, who said he hails from Umumgbokwo, Isingwu in Umuahia North Local Government Area but lives and trades in Benue State, narrated that on his arrival at Nkporo, he met Ifeanyi and other men and was waiting to receive the promised money.
“To my surprise,” he said, “soldiers stormed the house and arrested me as others fled.”
The suspected kidnaper said that he had known Ifeanyi for 10 years but never knew his surname and as well did not know he was involved in kidnapping as, according to him, they had not been in touch for a long time.
The Garrison Commander, Lt. Col Sani Ahmed, said that the 14 Brigade was committed in its efforts to ridding Abia state of kidnapping and all other vices, in line with its mandate of ensuring peace and security in the state.
•Photo by Ibeabuchi Abarikwu shows demolition of building belonging to Mr. Agbai Agbai Kalu, a suspected kidnapper, at Etitiama Mkporo in Ohafia LGA of Abia State.
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