By Kolade Larewaju
ABEOKUTA—TWO suspects who kidnapped a 45-year-old Superintendent of Customs, Mr. Ekanem John and demanded a N250 million ransom have been arrested by men from the Ogun State Command.
The suspects, Emmanuel Ogugua and Chidi had on October 23, 2010 kidnapped John in Apapa area of Lagos at about 10.00pm and took him to an unknown destination.
Ogun State Police Commissioner, Mr. Musa Daura who paraded them before newsmen yesterday said the suspects later got in touch with the victim’s wife and ordered her to get across to them with N250 million else they would kill her husband.
But three days after the kidnap, Daura said the police got a tip from a farmer that “while he was working on his farm along the Lagos/Ibadan Express way, he heard some unusual sound by evening time.”
He said based on that information, policemen were deployed to the area to comb the bush which resulted in the suspects’ arrest. The victim was rescued in a thick forest, few kilometres away from Sagamu.
Apart from the kidnapper suspects, 23 armed robbery suspects were also paraded for robbery activities in different locations at different times within the State.
The police also displayed to newsmen weapons recovered from some armed robbery suspects who attempted to rob the Ijebu Ode branch of a new generation bank last Tuesday.
The weapons left behind by the robbers which Daura displayed included one general purpose machine gun, three Ak. 47 rifles, two rocket launchers, 62 loaded AK 47 rifles, 61 AK 47 magazine, 113 life cartridges, 170 rounds of life ammunitions and various charms Narrating his experience to newsmen, the Customs Officer who was kidnapped one month after his wedding said “They really tortured me. I was blind-folded and didn’t know where they took me until when we reached a destination and they started shouting during a telephone conversation, ‘we’ve reached Redeem’.
‘Don’t waste our time’. ‘Where are these people’? That was when I knew we had reached Sagamu.”
He said the suspects seized his ATM card and ordered him to disclose his pin number to them which he did. “Some of them left and came back at night around 12 mid-night and started beating me because they found out that I didn’t have much money in my account”.
He disclosed that the kidnappers later lost communication with their other colleagues because there was no light to charge their mobile phones.
According to him the kidnappers left one of them to guard him while the other went to town to buy pure water. It was at this point, he said that some Vigilante members stormed the place he was being kept and apprehended the culprits.
“Between 12 and 1 in the night, some people came and were shouting what the duo were doing in such area. They were Vigilante group. I begged them to loose the rope which they used to tie my eyes so I can identify some of them.
“The first one was chased and arrested. When the second one came, they got him because he never knew what happened to the former.”