BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY — THE war against kidnapping in Edo State recorded success, as the state police command, Wednesday, paraded 44 suspected kidnappers including those involved in the recent kidnap of three primary school teachers.
Addressing newsmen on the breakthrough in its battle against criminality, the state Police Commissioner, Foluso Adebanjo, expressed satisfaction over the achievement, adding that the suspects will soon be charged to court.
The command also disclosed that assorted ammunition and firearms, including locally made and foreign guns, were seized from the suspected criminals.
Adebanjo who said about 500 suspected kidnappers were being prosecuted in the state, vowed that any form of criminality in the state would be met with extreme force.
He said: “On July 18, 2013, 32 suspected criminals who were arrested for various crimes were paraded. Today, we have in our custody another 44 suspects that will soon be charged to court for various offences.
Narrating how the police captured some of the suspected kidnappers, who masterminded the abduction of Patience Osadolor, Patience Oroghene and Aisha Momodu, teachers of Orhogbua Primary School, in Ekenwan community, Ovia North East Local Government Area, who were recently freed Adebanjo called on residents to beware of people, some of who he said parade themselves as community leaders.
“This state is not safe for any form of criminality and I want them to know this. These people arrested, some of them had carnal knowledge of children which is ungodly. They will face the law and we will intensify our search for criminals in this state,” he stated.
One of the suspected kidnappers, Morrison Gajah (45), who claimed to be a community leader, confessed to purchasing the guns used in the teachers’ abduction, but denied knowledge of activities of the perpetrators.
He said, “I am chairman of Ekenwa CDA and over a year ago, we bought two locally made guns and one pump action from Joseph Oteh. We were keeping them in the community, but I shuttle between there (Ekenwan) and Benin and these boys (pointing at (Edimere Pawuru), who had the weapons in their custody, to commit the crime.”
Pawuru in turn denied direct link with the teachers’ abduction, claiming that those that carried out the act escaped from their houses on sighting the police.Among others paraded were armed robbery suspects, including Onaiwu Jeffrey, Omoghia Jesuf, Ibrahim buba, Ebose Endurance, Sunday Esosa, Imafidon Ehigie and Osazee Oshenoma, who the command said it recovered.