BY CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI— Imo State Police Command has arrested one Mishack Osuala, the suspected mastermind of the recent kidnap and murder of an Assistant Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Mishack Ugwuoha.
Parading Osuala before newsmen, yesterday, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Katsina, also said Chukwudi Okezue from Ubomiri, Mbaitoli Local Council Area of the state died as a result of gunshot wounds he received during the operation.
The Imo police boss also disclosed that 45-year-old Lawrence Udeze, who hails from the same Umuchoke, Amaigbo with the late Customs officer, was arrested.
The commissioner, meantime, has declared a 30-year-old Okechukwu Uzoma, a native of Umuchoke, Amaigbo, wanted in connection with the crime.
Giving a graphic detail of how the suspects were rounded up, Katsina explained: “Having been attracted by the gruesome kidnap and murder of the senior Customs officer, the command’s anti-homicide squad took over investigations.”
According to the CP, “after sustained and painstaking efforts by our men, a breakthrough was made when the principal suspects, especially the dead man’s relations, were arrested.
“One of them, Mishack Osuala, a 25-year old bricklayer, who is also a native of Umuchoke, Amaigbo, Nwangele local government area, was arrested. It is interesting to note that this suspect was the first to lead sympathizers to Nkwerre and Nwangele police stations, where he shed crocodile tears,” the CP said.
Katsina noted that the police saw something very questionable about Osuala’s conduct and placed a close watch on him, adding that he was later arrested by the Command’s Ambush Squad when he attempted to escape.
“His arrest and interrogation encouraged the police to classify him as the mastermind of the crime as he did not only confess to the crime, but went further to recall how he planned the act to take over the man’s property, giving names of the other members of the gang,” Katsina said.
According to Katsina, the arrest of the suspects has again heightened the command’s fears of involvement of family members in crime and appealed to members of the public for credible information that would lead to the fleeing suspects’ arrest.