… As Troops Hand Over 2 Kidnapped Infants, 3 Suspects To Police
By Femi Bolaji
A 37 year old Woman from Abia state, Ruth Okoronkwo, was on Friday paraded at the Police headquarters in Jalingo, Taraba state, for Kidnap infants for the sum of N50,000.
The kidnap suspect who claims she is a business woman, was intercepted by troops of 20 Model Battalion of the Nigeria Army, Serti, at one of their check points along Jalingo- Wukari highway in Taraba state.
She and two other men, Emmanuel Kelechi and his younger brother, were nabbed at Sabon Gida checkpoint in Gassol local government area of Taraba state while conveying 2 kidnapped boys between the ages of 1 and 2 years, who were picked separately in Yola, Adamawa state and Iware in Taraba state to Abia state.
A family member of one of the kidnapped infant at Iware in Taraba state, alerted the soldiers of the development.
Speaking to newsmen, Okoronkwo said “this is my first time of doing something like this. I was promised the sum of N50,000 if I could assist them to kidnap children.
“I have known him(Emmanuel Kelechi) for a long time as a taxi driver who used to assist me to carry my goods because I am a business woman.
“I am pleading for forgiveness and would never do it again.”
The other Kidnap Suspect, Emmanuel Kelechi said he engaged Okoronkwo to help him kidnap children for someone who promised to give him N200,000 for every infant delivered.
He said, “I have being doing this for over a month now. Someone at I met at Umaiha introduced me into this.
“He told me if I can get an infant, he would pay me N200,000. As an ordinary driver, I was enticed by the offer.
“He said he was going to sell the children to couples looking for children.
“So when I took my younger brother to Yola, where he was to resume school, I met this woman whom I discussed with and both agreed to do the job together.”
How My Brother’s Son Was Picked- Eyewitness
A relative of the 2 years old boy picked at Iware, Ibrahim Mohammed, explained how Okoronkwo picked his brother’s son.
He said “I was sitting by the road side with some of my friends at Iware discussing, when a fat woman dropped from a Lexus Jeep which was parked by the road side.
“We initially thought she wanted to urinate, not until she moved into a street while the car was there waiting for her.
“She returned with a child on her back, not knowing it was my brother’s son she had kidnapped.
“As soon as they left, the mother of the boy came out crying that her son who had accompanied his elder sister, who is also a small girl to buy ice cream (Kankara) was missing.
“I then spoke to the girl who said that a woman gave her buiscuit and told her to go home. I then suspected that that fat woman I saw was the one that carried my brother’s son.
“I immediately called one of our elder brother at Mutumbiyu that one of our sons had been kidnapped and the kidnapers are approaching that area in a Lexus Jeep.
“On getting to the road side, he flagged down the vehicle which refused to stop and he immediately called his friend who sells vegetables close to the Army Checkpoint at Mutumbiyu to alert the soldiers of the development.
“On getting to the Checkpoint, the soldiers told my brother’s friend that the Vehicle just passed, and they too instantly called soldiers on the next Checkpoint at Sabon Gida to stop the vehicle which they did.
“When we got there, we saw the vehicle parked by the roadside while the occupants were asked to sit under the tree.
“We saw our brother’s son and another boy inside the vehicle, and I identified the fat woman who stopped at Iware where she picked him.”
Handing the Kidnap Suspects and their victims to the Police after parading them before press men at the Police headquarters in Jalingo, Commanding Officer of 20 Model Battalion of the NA, Serti, Lt Col Musa Adamu said the Army and other sister security agencies would continue to work in harmony against criminality.
According to him ” Officers of 20 Model Battalion Serti, apprehended the kidnappers following a distress call from family members of one of the kidnapped victim taken from Iware under ArdoKola local government area of Taraba state.
“The suspected Kidnappers claimed the children belonged to them when they were intercepted at the checkpoint but when the family members who made the distress call came, they identified their kidnapped son, Ibrahim Ali who is only 2 years old.
“Interrogation of the criminals by the troops revealed that the other kidnapped victim, John Emmanuel who is 1 year and 4 months old, as disclosed by one of the kidnap suspect was picked in Yola, Adamawa state whose parents are yet to be contacted.”
Father of Ibrahim Ali, Ali Ibrahim, who spoke at the police headquarters in Jalingo, appreciated the effort of the Army in the rescue of his son from his abductors.
Some of the items handed over to the police include a Lexus SUV RX300, Clothes, Food items among others.