•Victim fed with boiled plaintain before death
Detectives attached to the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, in conjunction with an Intelligence agency, have succeeded in breaking the stronghold of a deadly armed robbery, kidnapping and a killer gang that abducted a Lagos based oil dealer, Pa Basil Agha, 69, in his hometown, Umuofor in Ogberuru Local government area of Imo state in October, last year. The gang ended up killing and burying their victim in a shallow grave after collecting a huge sum of money as ransom from members of his family.
The arrest was made just 10 months after all efforts to trace his abductors failed. The prime suspect was arrested through the relentless effort of the team who were yet to be compensated with the promotion assured them after the arrest of kidnap guru, Evans.
The fair-complexioned suspect, Ikenna Solomon Agubosi, 46, notoriously called ‘Master’ is now cooling his heels inside police cell at the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, Ikeja, Lagos. He gave a chilling account of how the gang operated and the blood-cuddling operation that ended up in burying the innocent man in a shallow grave. He spoke with our crime desk crew of; Emma Nnadozie, Hanna Oyeleru and Suliat Elemosho. Excerpts:
In the beginning “I come from a very poor family from Amagu in Imo state. I was selling empty bottles while in school and that was how I was able to train myself in school. I passed out from Amannna Secondary School in 1998. After that, I became an apprentice in an electrical shop at Jankara market in Lagos where I served for seven years. I also served another man at Alaba International market, Lagos but all these people failed to settle me as agreed after all those years. I had intention of furthering my education to university level but I could not make it. In fact, my father who is a prophet in Jewish religion said I was destined to be a business man. That was why he did not make efforts to train me in any higher institution. I was brought up to worship in Jewish religion that originated in Israel called Sabbath church.
“So, after I completed serving my masters and they refused to pay me, I started hustling in the market. While I was doing that, I noticed that I could not concentrate. It was as if I was being disturbed for not serving the Jewish God. I was seeing vision for people. When I noticed that the calling was real, I wrote to the worshippers in Israel and they gave me admission to study Jewish religion. I went to Jerusalem in Israel and was nurtured properly in Judaism. I spent four years there before coming back to Nigeria in 2013. I went back to the east where I started doing spiritual works for people. I was curing people of different ailments.
How I met gang leader
“When I was in Lagos, I met one boy called Benneth. He is from my maternal home in Ihuoma, Imo state and he was selling medicine in a chemist shop. We lost contact for many years until I came back and he resurfaced in our village during a novelty match in December period. We exchanged telephone numbers. One day, he called to inform me that he had somebody that was suffering from insanity, that he would like me to cure him. I charged him N100, 000.00. Later, he brought a man of about 60 or 70 to my place of worship in Ihuoma in a red car. The man was looking very weak and he dropped him in my church promising to come the following day. However, when I approached the man to commence treatment, he told me that he was not sick but a kidnap victim. I gave him boiled plantain which I prepared when I noticed that he was very weak and he ate it hungrily. I noticed also from the way the man was speaking that he was really a victim and I called Benneth to come immediately to my place and take the man away.
Burial in a shallow grave
He later came in the mid night and left with the man. Few minutes later, he came back and complained that he could not get out of the village because of the heavy security mounted by members of the vigilante. He later told me that he had killed the man and pleaded that I should help him to bury him beside the forest in my temple. That was where I made mistake. Benneth, whose real names are Benneth Ibe Onyebuch alias Japan, tricked me into committing the crime. If I had known, I should have rejected all his pleas to help him and bury the man. We then carried the man into the forest, dug a shallow grave and buried him. He paid me N70, 000.00. What I have in my place is temple and not shrine. I have an Ofor tree there and that is where we carry out our activities. I was not into kidnapping or armed robbery but I help fraudsters. What I do is to help them succeed in duping people. If they have problem with their clients, I will use juju to make it work in their favour. That is how I made my money and bought cars. I use to charge them between N100, 000 and N500, 000.00.
How we defraud people
We have different kinds of work. We have the one we call Come and Serve, that is when they convince their victims to come with huge sums of money, after showing the fake huge amount of money in our possession. As soon as we succeed in convincing the person that he will make money from the transaction, we will disappear with his real money. There is another one we call Come and Buy. That’s when we convince unsuspecting victims that we have expensive cars for sale at a very cheap prize. We usually collect the person’s money and disappear with it. We also have drug business where we convince buyers that we have large consignment of drugs for sale and at the end of the day; we will defraud him of his money. Our victims are mostly people we treat in my temple. Before I was arrested, I had made over N5million from the fraud business.
My relationship with gang leader, Onyebuchi
I have known him as a troublesome person for long. I did not know him as a kidnapper but we have been suspecting his means of livelihood. After the burial of the man, Onyebuchi left and I left also to Port-Harcourt. I was arrested after I returned to attend our feast of New Year in my village. They took me to their station and after interrogation; I took them to where we buried the man. We dug and brought out his bones inside the thick forest. The truth is that nobody can get our leader, Onyebuch on phone. He only calls to speak with you but you cannot get him. He told me really that he killed the man because he recognised him and it was impossible to get out of the village that night because of the tight security around the village. I feel very sad and sorry for what I did. If I had quickly informed the police when I discovered that the man was kidnapped, I would not have been in this trouble. I am very guilty that the innocent man died this way and I participated in burying him in that shallow grave, a man I just fed with plantain, Ooooh! , I am pleading to God for forgiveness.
I will advise people, especially the young ones, to avoid getting involved in any crime. This is because any bad thing you do, you must suffer for it. This is why I am suffering now. I know members of my family will be greatly disappointed in me now. I was in the right position to save that man but I failed. In fact, God will judge me because when they brought this man to me, I failed to save him. Honestly, before this incident, I was warned to avoid any violent thing. But, I ignored that advice and soiled my hands. That’s why I am suffering now.”