By Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”AN alleged self-confessed kidnapper and 14 others as well as a serving councillor in Ovia South West local govt council of Edo State were yesterday in Benin paraded by the Police in connection with alleged cases of kidnapping, robbery and fraud.
Briefing journalists on the arrest of the suspects, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Danlami Yarâ€™Adua, disclosed that one Braimoh Olajumoke Osunbo was arrestedÂ by the police following a tip-off while attempting to defraud a man of N6.3million in an undisclosedÂ bank in Benin.
The Commissioner said that the suspect had earlier kidnapped his victim, only toÂ later turned round and tried to defraud the victim when luck ran against him.
He also told newsmen that a motor mechanic and his gang who had sent text messages demanding for N50 million and threatening to kidnap one of his customers was also cooling his heels with the police.
He announced the arrest of one Ereremu Ebi (alias Okunbo) who had confessed to taking part in several cases of kidnapping in Edo State.
The suspect, the Commissioner said, has claimed responsibility for over 80% cases of kidnapping in the state, adding that since his arrest, there had been a drop in kidnap incidents in the state.
Mr. Yarâ€™ Adua said the suspect has given the police names of several suspected kidnappers in the state, adding that the confessed kidnappers were on the run when police visited their houses.
Expressing gratitude to members of the public for giving police useful information, the Police boss urged them and the press to continue to do so in the spirit of community policing.
But in a swift reaction, Mr. Ereremu Ebi (30), while confirming that he took part in kidnapping a South African woman in 2006, said he did not do it for commercial gain, but to draw attention to the neglect of his community.
He also admitted that he was a freedom fighter but had embraced the federal governmentâ€™s amnesty since August 3, 2009, stressing that he and others were arrested along Ekenwan Road, Benin City, while going for a funeral ceremony.
The suspect, who referred journalists to publications in the Nation Newspaper of August and the Vanguard of August 6 to buttress his renunciation of militancy, said Edo State government had offered him N1 million rewards for helping to secure the freedom of a man kidnapped at Iguoriakhi and another woman kidnapped at Burrow Pit in Benin.
He denied claims by the police that he was involved in several cases of kidnap, pointing out that but for his arrest; he would have gone to Ofunama last Wednesday to surrender his arms to the Amnesty Committee.
Meanwhile, the Serving Councillor arrested by the police told journalists yesterday that he was not a kidnapper, but that he was on his way from Benin to attend a funeral ceremony at Enikorogha when he was arrested by the police.
He said he could not deny knowing Ereremu Ebi as they were both from the same community.
However, the Police Commissioner disclosed that the police was still investigating the cases of other suspects arrested to ascertain their culpability.