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Police arrest traditional ruler, wife over kidnapping

The Police have uncovered a new dimension to kidnapping with the arrest, weekend, of a traditional ruler who allegedly made his palace available for custody of kidnapped victims in Enugu State.

Igwe Cornelius Nomeh, the traditional ruler of Oruku in Nkanu Local Government of Enugu State, and his wife, Ngozi, were picked up by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Enugu, in connection with the abduction of a 20-year-old medical student, Miss Ifeoma Azubuike.

Luckily for Ifeoma, an unarmed policeman in mufti witnessed the abduction and gave precise information to men of the command that chased the kidnappers who slipped through the Police cordon.

However, the Police were able to trace the hideout, stormed the palace and rescued the victim, whose father is a Lagos-based banker, and without paying the N100m ransom that they demanded.

Three of the suspected kidnappers were picked up during the raid. They gave their names as John Odih, Chukwunonso Anigbogu and Williams Oriaku. Both Odih and Chukwunonso hail from the traditional ruler’s hometown of Oruku, and are believed to be relations of the Igwe, while Williams Oriaku is from Mbaitoli in Imo State.

Enugu Police Command suspects that the three are members of an eight-man gang, and are in hot chase of the remaining members who escaped police arrest when the palace hideout was stormed.

Their confessional statements pointed to the complicity of the traditional ruler and his wife, leading to their subsequent arrest.

Anigbodu said he is a National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, member serving in Kwara State but was lured into this deadly act by one of his friends known as Friday., who is still at large. His job, he stated was to , provide a hide out for the gang where their victims could be kept until ransom was paid.

He said that he was promised the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Naira by the gang if the ransom is paid.

He further stated that he provided the hide out through one of his cousins, John Odih who is also among those arrested, and advised youths to be wary of the type of friends they keep.

Narrating her ordeal to The Dawn shortly after she was rescued, Ifeoma Azubuike a 20 year old medical student and daughter of a Lagos based banker said that she was abducted by three men in a Coal City taxi, who immediately blindfolded her and drove her to a village where she was kept for five days, adding that while in their hostage five members of the gang made contact with her parents in Lagos on phone demanding a ransom of N100 million.

State Command spokesman, ASP Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed the story and said that the kidnappers and the Igwe will be paraded before newsmen on Monday.

Reacting to the incident the Commissioner of police Enugu state Cp Mohammed H. zarewa described the incident as unfortunate and commended his security operatives and good spirited individuals that worked in partnership with them to record this remarkable achievement. He also assured the good people of Enugu state about his command’s readiness to give responsive policing.


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