By Dennis Agbo
ABAKALIKIâ€”EBONYI State Police Command has paraded seven suspected kidnapers, in what the command described as a big catch made possible by excellent community policing efforts.
The suspects were arrested after they kidnapped a member of Ebonyi State Civil Service Commission, Chief Sylvester Oduko and his wife, Grace, both of whom were later rescued when luck ran out on the kidnappers.
The suspects will be the first test case for the new law passed by the Ebonyi State House of Assembly and assent by Governor Martin Elechi, last year, which prescribes death sentence for kidnappers.
Parading the suspects at the Command headquarters, the state Commissioner of Police,Â Mr. Dipo Ayeni said that four of the suspects stormed the country home of Oduko at Okprojo in Afikpo South Local Government Area of the state, around 5.30pm Saturday, armed with AK47 riffle and in two vehicles, a Honda utility vehicle with number plate MM 267 AAA and a Taxi cab without number but painted in Rivers State taxi colour.
On arrival, the suspects allegedly claimed to be men from State Security Service, SSS, national office, who came to arrest Chief Oduko for an undisclosed offence. When the wife, Grace, came downstairs to inquire on what was going on, the hoodlums whisked her into the taxi cab while the husband was forced to drive his official car, a Toyota Camry with the Jeep following behind him.
The three vehicles, according to Ayeni drove in a manner that attracted the attention of the public, including the Chairman of Afikpo South council and others,Â who informed the police.
Meanwhile, Chief Oduko, who was being escorted with one of the kidnappers suddenly broke ranks and veered off to another road, a development that made the kidnapper with him to open the passengers door and jump out of the vehicle while Oduko escaped but after a safe distance,Â his car somersaulted and he was rescued by passersby.
However, the taxi cab conveying his wife had a mechanical fault along the way and stopped, forcing the kidnappers to drag the woman into the bush, while the Jeep which was ahead on high speed, also skidded off the Afikpo-Okigwe expressway and somersaulted several times.
The occupants, some of whom sustained various degrees of injury scampered into the bush where they remained till the following day,Â Sunday.
A man hunt mounted by the police and the villagers paid-off, when two of the suspects, Felix Anya and Orji Eme from Amata Oso Edda were arrested at Ayaragu, in Ivo Local Government Area, having abandoned the Honda Jeep.