By Emma Amaize
ASABA- DETECTIVES in Delta Command have swooped on suspected kidnappers, capturing 14 and liberating 10 victims without ransom in 10 separate incidents involving a Senior Special Assistant to the Delta State Governor, pastor, retired naval officer, housewife and others at different parts of Delta State in the last few weeks.
However, a victim died in the hands of the abductors, three released on payment of ransom, while police were still searching for a staff of Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Lagos, Dr. Chris Awele, 38, kidnapped and whisked away in his car by four armed men on September 24.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Muhammad Mustapha, told Vanguard: “Acting on intelligence, a team of Special Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime Squad, SAKCCS, operatives stormed Bonsacc area of Asaba and rescued 19-year old Miracle Malije, abducted along Federal Technical College Road, Asaba.”
“The team also arrested one of the suspects and is assisting the police to ensure the arrest of other members of the gang at large and possible recovery of their arms and ammunition,” he added.
Mustafa disclosed though five armed men, who seized a housewife, Mrs. Eucharia Ofuonye at her Medicine Store in Okwe,bear Asaba, released her after payment of undisclosed ransom, the police arrested two suspects, Edwin and Kenneth, who confessed to the offence and kidnap of one Dr. Anozie Uchechukwu.
“Dr Uchechukwu was rescued by men of the Anti-Kidnappaing Squad on October 11 following their confession, while Pastor Bawo Atumu, abducted with six others were released without ransom after serious pressure exerted on the hoodlums by the police,” he added.
According to the commissioner, “While following up the kidnap case of Benedicta Okeme kidnapped at Ogbeke Square, Asaba and other kidnap cases, SAKCSS operatives arrested additional suspects, Anayo and Ugonnaya, along Benin-Asaba express road and also recovered a stolen Lexus Jeep.”
“Also, eight suspects who were alleged to have planned to kidnap a Senior Special Assistant to Delta State Governror, Chief Godwin Emebiwor, aka Nuruddeen Abort, were arrested by the Inspector General of Police, IGP team of IRT operatives based in Asaba.
“Two suspects, Okumo, 36 years and Daniel , 31 years, who kidnapped 80 year-old retired naval officer, Stephen Okumu, one of them his nephew were arrested by men of Oleh Division and SAKCCS operatives led by the Divisional Police Officer, DPO at a house in Olomoro, where they kept the victim, who was lying on a bed in the room dead.
“Guarding the room was one Daniel and he was arrested with a cut to size single barrel gun. The corpse was deposited at the General Hospital mortuary, while the two suspects were detained,” he disclosed.
Concerning a family that was kidnapped on October 13, he said Mrs. Victoria Esikie was kidnapped with four or her children, Nyore, Rukevwe, Ejoke and Jowho on Ughell/Agbarha Otor road in her Prado SUV, “but the kidnappers later dropped the four children at Afiesere road, Ughelli, and left only with Mrs. Victoria Esike.”
“Efforts are ongoing by operatives and IGP’s IRT to track and arrest the kidnappers and rescue the victim unhurt,” the police boss assured.