By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”A soldier serving at the 235 Recce Battalion, Nigeria Army, Garriki, Enugu, has been arrested in connection with the alleged attempt to kidnap a popular Enugu-based oil dealer and sachet water producer.
Vanguard gathered that the army private (names withheld) was apprehended in the womanâ€™s compound at Independence Layout Enugu last Wednesday when he led members of his gang on the illicit business.
The soldier, who dressed in a camouflage military uniform and three members of the his gang had driven to the premises in an unmarked red car with which they intended to abduct the woman but their plot failed as their target was not available at about 8 am when they visited.
An eyewitness account said the suspected kidnappers had visited the house Tuesday evening and ascertained from the gate-man whether â€˜oga was aroundâ€™ without disclosing their mission, but they left immediately they were told that the woman was unavailable.
They repeated the next morning (Wednesday) at about 7 am and the soldier, who claimed to be their leader approached the gate-man requesting to see the Oga on the excuse that they had a very important message for her.
When they were told that the woman had gone out, the soldier insisted that the gate be opened to enable him deliver the message to the woman. But unknown to him, a mobile police orderly attached to the woman was in the compound at the time.
The sachet water dealer had left the house for an early morning exercise at Okpara Square before the unwanted visitors called.
The gate-man immediately alerted the police orderly who directed that only the soldier be allowed access into the compound.
But immediately the gate was opened, the eyewitness further narrated, the other three members of the gang jumped out of their car and tried to force their way into the compound, but the gate was shut behind the soldier.
The soldier reportedly tried to escape through the back fence, but the armed police orderly and the gate-man prevented him, while the lucky businesswoman who had been contacted on phone, quickly invited the police.
When a police patrol team from New Haven police station arrived the scene, the other three members of the gang reportedly jumped into their car and left the soldier, who was taken to the police station.