By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
THREE persons who allegedly abducted the 76 year –old mother of the managing director of Juhel Pharmaceutical Industries, Dr. Ifeanyi Okoye, in her Agulu, Anambra State country home last week were among 31 suspected kidnappers paraded by the Anambra State police command yesterday.
Anambra State commissioner of police, Mr. Philemon Leha, who paraded the men before newsmen in Awka, gave the names of the kidnappers as Emeka Mbachi (25years), Chinonso Ibezim (21 years) and Chukwueke Ibezim (22 years).
The fourth member of the gang was said to be at large. He said they were arrested at Avulu village in Mbaukwu in Awka South local government area of the state.
The kidnappers were said to have initially demanded the sum of N100 million ransom, although it could not be ascertained how much they eventually collected before releasing the Octogenarian.
The commissioner said that 10 persons were also rescued by the police between September 1 and October 21 this year.
He said that five kidnappers were killed in a gun battle with the police, while 52 suspected armed robbers were arrested. Also, 18 stolen vehicles were recovered within the period.
He said that 250 persons were screened and charged to court after raiding their hideouts, adding that 127, 144 live cartridges, two AK 47 riffles, one pocket launcher, one packet of dynamite, among other items were recovered.
The commissioner said that there has been a drop in the number of kidnapping in the state with its attendant peace and tranquility gradually returning to the state, adding that it is an eloquent testimony that the renewed commitment and strategies of the police were working.
“I want to also inform all Anambrarians that the command is at their service and our unbridled desire to rid the State of criminal elements is not in doubt. These recoveries were made possible through continuous raids of all identified criminal hideouts from various parts of the State,” Leha said.