By Nwabueze Okonkwo, Onitsha
Operatives of Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Anambra State Police Command on Wednesday on a tip-off, swooped on kidnappers’ hideout at the GRA area of the commercial city of Onitsha and arrested two kidnap suspects (male and female).
The arrests, according to sources, were made following the escape of one of the kidnap victims from the hideout, earlier in the day.
According to the source, the victim whose identity was yet to be ascertained, as at the time of filing this report yesterday,was abducted by the suspects somewhere in Abagana, Njikoka Local Government Area of the state, late last week and brought into the hideout at Justice Onwuamaegbu Close, GRA and kept incommunicado for a ransom negotiation.
Sources said that both the kidnappers and the victim’s relations had settled for a ransom of N3 million and the kidnappers were already threatening to kill the victim if at the end of yesterday, the ransom had not reached them.
The source hinted that the three suspects, a male and two females had been operating in the hideout for more than two years without the neighborhood knowing what was going on in the area, to the extent that a lawyer managing the property wrote a sign post: “To Let. Contact me on certain phone number”. But the kidnappers allegedly mutilated the first and last numbers in the lawyer’s phone number, so that callers would find it difficult to get the correct number of the lawyer.
It was gathered that the incident was blown open when the male suspect whose name was given as Emma Ugochukwu who incidentally is the secretary of GRA Unit of commercial motorcycle union was going out and he instructed the female suspect to keep eyes on the victim with a pistol till he comes back.
It was gathered that as soon as Ugochukwu went out, the victim requested the female suspect to find him water to drink and as she went for the drinking water, the victim cleverly untied the rope on his hands, removed the handcuff on his legs and waited for the female suspect to come in.
It was further gathered that when the female suspect came in, the victim, hiding the handcuff on his back, smashed it on the head of the female victim and when she collapsed, he scaled the fence of the compound and escaped into the nearby Nkisi River.
Few hours later, the victim returned to the hideout with SARS operatives and arrested the male and female suspects, while the second female suspect was no where to be found.
Some residents of the neighborhood, Chief Godwin Okeke, Chairman/CEO of GUO Transport Limited, expressed shock that he had been living in the same Onwuamaegbu Crescent with some dangerous kidnappers, adding that the authorities concerned should investigate the matter properly.