By Ifeanyi Okolie
A 22-year- old suspected kidnapper, Gift Taise, who is accused to have taken part in the recent armed robbery and kidnapping of a Rivers State-based Magistrate, has been arrested operatives of the Inspector General of Police, Intelligence Response Team, IRT.
Vanguard gathered that Taise, a member of Icelander cult group and four members of his gang had in April 2020, invaded the home of the Magistrate, (names withheld) at Rumuagholu area of the State and abducted his daughter after dispossessing them of their cash and valuables.
But their victim was said to have miraculously escaped from their custody a few days after her abduction and this was also while the kid snappers were still negotiating with her family.
It was gathered that operatives of the IRT deployed to Rivers State, were contacted after the victims escape and a manhunt was launched on the suspects. Source disclosed that Taise couldn’t run far due to the lockdown in Rivers State and he was arrested in his home, while he’s helping the operatives apprehend other members of his gang.
Recounting the horrifying incident, the magistrate told the police that about four armed men accessed his home through the roof at the back at about 3 am. Three of them who were armed with guns ordered him and his entire family to lie face down.
They tied blindfolded them and tied their hands and legs together. Then they took time to raid the house of every available valuable including phones, money, jewellery, electronic devices, clothes and shoes.
According to the magistrate, the invaders spent more than an hours scouting for valuables before packing all they got inside one of his cars and abducted his 25-year-old daughter. They also withdrew N100,000 from his abducted daughter’s account through her ATM.
On the second day, they contacted him and demanded N10million as ransom. They started negotiating and the kidnappers who refused to accept the amount offered switched off with a promise to call back the next day. Luckily, his daughter escaped and ran back home.
On how she managed to escape, the magistrate told the police that her daughter was on her monthly menstrual cycle at the time she was picked. She cried begging her abductor to help her get relief over the pain she was experiencing which they offered to buy her a bottle of Chelsea hot drink.
One of the kidnappers volunteered to go to town and buy it and when he wasted a lot of time, the second person decided to go and check on her.
The only one left to guard her after waiting for another 30 minutes also decided to quickly check on the others. On sensing that she was alone in the forest, she started screaming and when no one heard her. She started praying, shouting the name Jesus and promised herself that if after shouting the name Jesus about 100 times, she will try to escape.
After some minutes, she untied herself and started running back to the road, where a good samaritan gave her transport fare back home. She told her father that she was held at Rukpokwu forest in Obi Akpo￼r Local government.
On his alleged role, the suspect Tasie who is a native of Emohua local government of Rivers State said his responsibility on the day the attack was just to watch the area while the other gang members entered the house. “ I am an orphan, so I dropped out of school as soon as my parents died. It was because I needed to survive that made me to join a bad gang led by one Ihekazi Igwe. He started by initiating me into their cult group known as Icelander.
On the day of the incident, I joined them at an agreed location at Omagwa. When I got there, Ihekazi, Ibuchi, Bright and Sampson Aaron were already on the ground with their guns. We drove to the house and I was only given a matchet to hold and watch out for vigilante boys. After about an hour, they drove out with another car and inside the car was a girl. When we got to, the bush, they shared all the valuables that were gotten and I was given N10,000 and a wrapper. I was asked to go home because I live with my sister and if she does not see me in more 24 hours she could raise an alarm.
“ When I called them the next day, they told me that they asked the family to pay N4million. I was waiting to be called to collect my share when Ihekazi called and said that she escaped. I wanted to use my share to start a business.I am sorry, it was poverty that led me to crime,” he pleaded.