By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI- Police in Ebonyi State Tuesday arrested eleven suspects including a kidnap kingpin operating within Ebonyi and Abia States, Ogonna Alioka.
Alioka popularly known as “Pilot” according to the police was allegedly among the gang of kidnappers involved in the abduction and killing of a sixty year old woman Mrs. Catherine Okorie Chukwu.
The late Mrs Okorie deceased, an indigene of Ishiagu community in Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State was on January 18th, 2017 abducted in her residence.
Unfortunately, she was later killed and buried by her assailants in a
shallow grave located in a in a forest bordering Lokpanta in Umunneochi and Awgu local government areas of Abia and Enugu States, for recognizing one of the kidnappers
Parading the suspects at Police Headquarters Abakaliki, the Police spokesman in state, Mr Jude Madu said though some members of the gang had been arrested and arraigned in court, Alioka who allegedly drove the vehicle used in the operation had been on the run until few days ago when he was arrested in Abia State.
The suspect Alioka, in a chat with reporters confessed to the crimes.
He alleged that the woman was killed while fleeing from them in the
bush pointing out that he engaged the kingpin in a fight when the
He said after killing the woman he ran away to avoid being arrested pointing out that the abduction of the woman was masterminded by a politician in Ishiagu (names withheld).
Other suspects which included one Chukwudi Nwezaku, Otu Okpara, Eze Chima ,Chiadikaobi Ani, Uchechukwu Aniewo and Ozomena Obasi were arrested in connection with armed robbery attacks, electricity cable vandalism, buying of stolen cars and unlawful possession of firearms.
The State Police spokesman stated that Police also arrested one Gideon Omaka who was just released from prison custody in March this year for allegedly robbing and killing one Eze Idam Ogbonnaya during a robber incident in Amasiri, Afikpo North local government area.
The group is believed to be responsible for various armed robbery and other criminal activities recorded recently in the area.
Omaka’s arrest came after angry youths in the community attacked and buried alive his brother Chukwudi Omaka who was also part of the robbery gang who robbed Ogbonnaya.
An eyewitness and resident of the community, Emmanuel Udu told Vanguard that Omaka was also among robbers who robbed one cool room known as Etuelughu which belongs to Oko Udu Monday and another businessman identified simply as David who has a provision store in the area.
“This handsome boy was beaten thoroughly; despite that, he refused to call the names of his members. He was later buried alive by Amasiri youths”.
Items recovered from the suspects included five vehicles, one tricycle, electronics, guns and live cartridges.
According to Madu, all the suspects would soon be arraigned in court upon completion of investigation.