…As robbers, police clash in Ikeja
By CHISTOPHER OJI, MATTHEW DIKE and CHIAMAKA ENEJE
Lagos State Police Command has arrested six suspected kidnappers who allegedly killed an United States returnee in Lagos. The victim, Oddi Nweze was said to have gone to buy some items along Old Ojo Road, Satellite Town when the hoodlums who wanted to kidnap him ended up shooting him. The businessman, Nweze was said to have struggled with the kidnappers, who out of annoyance shot him dead, about two weeks ago.
The six suspects, Chibuzor Osuagwu, Oliver Nwabueze, Kevin Emenike, Uche Igbani, a woman, Ngozi Onuowu and another suspect were alleged to be among the eight members of the syndicate that committed the dastardly act. The suspects who were described by the police as notorious were alleged to be responsible for many of the kidnappings and armed robberies in the country.
Their method of operation was to abduct their victims and take them to their enclave at Ago Area of Okota before demanding for ransom. The bubble burst for the suspects when the police set their kingpin, Kevin Emenike up through a young woman who was chatting with him through the social media. When the kingpin finally succumbed to the bait, he came from Port Harcourt where he was hiding to take the woman at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and he was arrested by detectives led by the Area ‘E’ Commander, Mr. Dan Okoro, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
Five out of the suspects who spoke with Daily Sun owned up to the crime, while one of them claimed he was a motorcycle operator. One of the suspects, Emenike confessed that his role was to collect the ransom from the victims’ families, which he would hand over to, Uche Igbani who was in charge of the enclave. According to Emenike he had participated in four operations, adding that the first kidnap operation was at Satellite, where the gang received N4 million ransom.
He said his share of the money was N250,000. He said the second operation, which was at FESTAC Town earned the gang N5 million and his share was N300,000. The third operation, which, he said, was at Amuwo Odofin Area earned the gang N1.1 million. The suspect said his share was N100,000, while the last operation, which took place at Satellite Town earned the gang N1.2 million. His was N100,000 Another suspect, Osuagwu claimed the victims were usually taken to a flat where he lives with his wife. He said he lives in one room while the gang also used one room to hide the victims. Osuagwu alleged he received only N30,000 from the gang.
He said he was paid N10,000 and N20,000 in two operations. Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Umar Manko said the late businessman was abducted near Oxpharm Store along Old Ojo Road, Satellite Town and later killed by the eight-man gang who operated on four motorcycles. “We are not linking Oxpharm Store to the kidnap saga. The suspects were on their own in the nefarious business operations.” Manko said one AK 49 rifle, 78 7.2mm ammunition, five loaded magazines, a Toyota Hilux van and two motorcycles were recovered from the suspects.
The police boss said the suspects would be charged with armed robbery, kidnapping and the murder of Oddi Nweze. In another development, armed robbers yesterday attacked a family and their visitor at Abule Onigbagbo Estate, Ikeja. The robbers raided the duplex belonging to one Omololu Akinyosoye. Daily Sun gathered that the four bandits shot the security man at the gate. The security man identified as Michael Ekwueme is still receiving treatment in a private hospital (name withheld) in Ikeja.
The robbers dispossessed the family of jewelry, laptop, shoes and unspecified amount of money. Meanwhile policemen exchanged gun duel with them and shot dead one of the bandits.