By DONALD ARJI & ADA ONWUNALI
The duo of Emmanuel Onyeka, a trader and Mrs. Chichi Obiajulu, a beer parlor operator at Aguda, Surulere, Lagos will never forget what happened to them last Sunday, in a hurry. In fact, while they are alleging that they were victims of kidnapping, the police is investigating whether their ugly encounter with a customer in the bar was a kidnap or ritual attempt.
However, the man at the center of the whole drama identified simply as Chief Ibekwe, according to Police sources, vehemently denied the allegations made against him and his driver insisting that the so-called victims were drunk and they were rendering a humanitarian service by taking them back to their respective homes.
Crime Alert gathered that the drama started in the early hours of the penultimate Sunday around 3.30am at Celenzia bus stop, Badagry Expressway.
The main suspect, at the center of the dram, Chief Ibekwe had gone to his usual drinking joint owned by Madam Chichi and while there, he met Emmanuel Onyeka who happened to be an old time friend dating back to 25 years. They hugged, exchanged pleasantries and tried to get back at old times. They reportedly spent time together after which Ibekwe offered to drive both him and the bar owner home.
The story took a dramatic dimension after the victims suddenly discovered that instead of being taken to their residence at Surulere area, Chief Ibekwe and his driver, Thomas, were heading towards Badagry expressway. They reportedly started struggling to free themselves from the hands of their suspected abductors. Mrs.Chichi succeeded in jumping out of the car into a swamp at Celeniza bus stop while her colleague failed.
Thereafter, she pulled off her clothes, a white blouse and wrapper in order for her assailants not to recognize her. She was able to crawl out of the swamp naked and hid in front of a shop. Luckily, she was seen by some members of a Vigilante Group in the area who clothed her before she narrated her ordeal to them.
It was learnt that while she was narrating the story, she received a call from the other victim Mr Emmanuel, who told her where they were after which members of the vigilante group succeeded in rescuing him also and arrested their suspected kidnappers.
A member of the Vigilante Group, Mr. Afolabi Omotosho told Crime Alert that while they were on patrol at about 3:30.a.m at Celeniza, bus stop, they saw something crawling from the swamp into one of the shops around there.
“Thinking it was a mad person or a robber, we drew closer only to see a naked woman breathing very fast. So, we quickly provided a cloth for her to cover her body, calmed her down and asked her what the problem was. She told us that she owns a bar at Aguda, Surulere and that she does not know what happened.
“That she just woke up to find herself in car going towards Badagry, so she jumped off the car. While narrating her ordeal to us, she got a call from one man who happened to be another victim. He told us that the vehicle he was in was heading back, so I told some of my boys to stay at the expressway to track the vehicle down. When my boys saw a vehicle coming, they stopped it and found Mr. Emmanuel Onyeka.
“When we questioned Chief Ibekwe, he said he did not kidnap the two victims, that it was because they were drunk he decided to take them home. The Chief also offered us the sum of N300,000.00 which we declined. Later in the morning, we handed him and his driver over to the Police at Ijanikin for further interrogation,”he stated.
In another development, members of the vigilante group recorded another feat by arresting a notorious bugler while he was breaking into a sachet water depot (name withheld) in Jakande area of Ajangbadi community, Oto Awori Local Council development area of Lagos state. The suspect told Crime Alert that he has been indulging in criminal activities from the age of 12 after he was scolded by his parents for stealing N200.
The suspect who gave his name as Jimoh Olalekan,19, was earlier arrested by men of the vigilante group when he allegedly tried to break into a sachet water depot. He also confessed to have been responsible for the criminal activities in the community stating that he also sell his loot to a ready buyer at the Alaba-Rago market in Ojo Local Government Area.
Efforts by Crime Alert to confirm the story from the police at Ajangbadi station failed as the officers refused to speak with us. A source at the station however alleged that the suspects have been released by the police after making their statements.