From GEORGE ONYEJIUWA, Owerri
A combined team of the Department of Security Services, popularly called the State Security Services (SSS) and the army has arrested a serving police constable, Matthew Ofurum, in Owerri, the Imo State capital, over alleged involvement in the kidnap of Nollywood actress and Special Assistant to Governor Rochas Okorocha on Public Affairs, Nkiru Sylvanus.
The suspect, who hails from Assa community, in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State and serving with the police mobile force base 19, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, was allegedly arrested with the sum of N3.5 million believed to be part of the N8 million ransom paid to secure the release of the star actress. Confirming the arrest, Director of Operations, Department of State Security, Mr. Femi, said the police constable was in their custody for his involvement in the abduction of Sylvanus. He did not give details of the arrest.
Saturday Sun reliably gathered that police constable was alleged to be the leader of the Imo, Abia and Rivers states kidnap ring using his police uniform as a security shield. He was also accused of involvement in the recruitment, training as well as the supplying of arms and ammunition to abductors that have been terrorising the states in recent times. Saturday Sun, a sister publication, had reported on Thursday the arrest of Mr. Jerry Okosun, Director-General of youth affairs to Governor Rochas Okorocha, who negotiated with the kidnappers on behalf of the Imo State government and Slyvanus’ family.
Actress Slyvanus was abducted by armed men in Owerri on December 16 last year and regained her freedom on December 21, after spending five days in captivity. She was freed after the state government reportedly parted with the sum of N8 million as ransom to her abductors.