By VINCENT UJUMADU
AWKA—IT was end of the road for four suspected kidnappers in Anambra State yesterday as the state police command gunned them down during a shoot out at Mbosi, Ihiala local government area of the state. The bodies of those killed were brought to the state police headquarters.

Also, three persons, including the father of the gang’s kingpin, were arrested, while two of the suspects fled. Items recovered from the suspects include a double-barrel gun, a pump action shot gun and many unexpended cartridges.

State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Emeka Chukwuemeka, told newsmen that during the shoot out, one of the victims in the net of the suspected kidnappers, 34-year-old Steven Orjiakor from Ihiala, who was based in Lagos, was rescued. The victim was kidnapped on April 15, 2012, by the gang, a day to his wedding.

According to the PPRO, the hunt for the other two who had terrorized the state for a long time is still on. It was gathered that the operation was led by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of operations, Mr. Bashir Makama.

The police spokesman said the victim, who was in the custody of the kidnappers for nine days, was rescued with chain locks on his feet, adding that a good spirited individual gave the police the information that facilitated the smashing of the gang.

According to him, the victim was kept in a two-storey uncompleted building when the police officers struck.

He said:  “His (victim’s) car is still with the one they call the chairman and that is why we arrested his father to gather more information from him about his son. We got him arrested when he went to collect money from his son’s hideout.

“This particular group has been disturbing us in Anambra and this is the second time their leader has escaped. We are not going to fold our arms and allow him to continue with his nefarious activities. We appreciate the cooperation of members of the public to continue to avail the police necessary information that could enable us to act swiftly.”

Rescued victim narrates ordeal

Narrating his ordeal, the rescued victim, Steven Orjiakor, who was still unable to walk due to the effect of the chain on his legs, said his rescue was a miracle. According to him, the kidnappers fed him once a day throughout the nine days they held him captive.

He said: “I was to wed on 16th April, being on a Monday, but I was kidnapped on Sunday, April 15, 2012, by a group of boys numbering five when I was coming back from my in-law’s place at Amanachi in Imo State.

“When I slowed down, because of a pot hole, my ash-coloured Toyota Highlander, one Infiniti Jeep double-crossed us and suddenly, five hefty boys with guns came out and ordered me and my brother out of my car or they would shoot us.

“We cooperated with them and at that point, they bundled me into their own car and one of them drove my own. They covered my face and chained my legs and I never knew they left my brother.

“When we got to a point, they said I was going to die today and asked how much I have in the bank and whether it is up to N50 million. I told them I have no money.

“They rough-handled me, hit me but how police got the information and stormed the place is what I still do not know, but I thank them and God for saving my life.”

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