He was trained as a policeman to fight criminals but ended up as one. Nemesis has however caught up with him and four other members of his kidnap gang after they successfully abducted and collected ransom from their victims; among them a police officer in Aba , Abia State.
They were arrested by detectives attached to the Inspector General of Police(IGP) Intelligence Response Team(IRT) less than two weeks after they kidnapped a serving Mobile Police(MOPOL) commander in Aba at about 8pm on January 14, 2018.
The suspects identified as Ifeanyi Stanley Ekpelulor, John Alozie, Ogbonna Wesley, Eze Obinna and Eze Orji, abducted Unit Commander 55, ASP Solomon Nyakno Aniefiok and collected his service Beretta pistol.
He was later released after paying an undisclosed sum to his abductors.
On their arrest, a police source said they were all picked up at various locations in Abia State through intelligence gathering generated by the police in Abuja.
From police recruit to criminality
At the police station, Ifeanyi aged 37 who is the leader of the gang, told detectives that they never knew the man they picked on January 14 was a policeman till he attempted to kill them with his pistol.
“I am from Osisioma in Abia State. After my secondary school, there was no money to further my education, so I learnt to drive motorcycle popularly called as Okada. I was among those who were shortlisted to join the police in 2006.
After five months training at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, I was dismissed. They caught me with one other person smoking indian hemp. I had no choice but to return back to Aba and start my life all over again.
“After several years, I got a job to drive a Sienna bus for one man. Unknown to me, he was a kidnapper. One day, I was in my house when police came and arrested me. They said I should produce my boss, that he is wanted for kidnapping. Since I could not provide him, I was charged to court and sent to prison. I spent almost two years in prison before I was granted bail. While I was in prison, I made a lot of friends and we agreed to help each other when we finally leave the prison.
“It was easy for me to form a gang because all my members were once in prison with me. My plan was to raise enough money to buy a bus. I never knew that the man we kidnapped in January was a policeman until he tired to kill us with his pistol.”
On the kidnap of the Mopol Commander, Ifeanyi said they were on random picking of victims when they spotted him on the road in Aba. “ We saw him standing by the roadside talking with a woman. We assumed that he is rich because of the Jeep that he was driving. We simply walked over to him and pointed the AK47 at him and grabbed him. We pushed him into the Jeep and drove off to our hideout at Nnekute bush in Aba.
“On our way, he pulled out his gun but luckily, the boys who were at the back noticed it and overpowered him. They beat him thoroughly until he agreed to cooperate. It was then we realized that he is a policeman and we became extremely careful.
“Inside the bush, he tried to escape again but my boy Alagbaso caught him and flogged him with his cutlass. He started begging for his life and I told them to leave him but ensure that he is properly tied up. I took his ATM to the nearest bank and withdrew N240,000 while he contacted his family. After two days with us in the bush, they were able to raise N450,000. I got N250,000 as the leader of the gang.”
On the police uniform found with him, Ifeanyi claimed he bought it from a suspected policeman in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. “I bought the police jacket N20,000. He knew that I was a civilian and he sold it to me. I was planning to use it when I was arrested. The AK47 that was found in my house was because one of my boys brought it to my house. Police arrested his father, so he decided to clear the house of anything that will implicate him. I never knew that policemen who arrested his father were actually looking for us.”
Having acquired shooting skills while at the Police College, Ifeanyi said he could handle any kind of gun. “Although I know how to shoot, I have never killed anyone. Life belongs to God and He is the only one that has the right to take or give life. I only used the gun to scare our victims. Last year, we picked someone along Aba express road while he stopped to buy some fruits at night. We left his car behind and took him into the bush. His family paid N400,000 and he was released the next day.
“Another one was picked inside one of the streets in Aba on his way to church on December 17, 2017. After three days, his family paid N1million. I also donated the car to be sold and the proceeds used to help my friends who were still in prison.”
The second suspect, Alozie who was found with the pistol of the mobile commander, claimed he was the one who spotted the gun before the police officer could over power them.
“I am an informant for an anti-drug agency in Aba. All I use to do is to give them information and they will settle me. The money does not come regularly because you are paid according to the number of drug peddlers that they arrest. I have helped them to arrest about 10 persons. Three years ago, someone died on a street in Osisioma and I was amongst those that were arrested when the police raided the area. They took us to court and dumped us in prison. It was there that I met Ifeanyi. We exchanged numbers and promised to help each other when we finally get our freedom.
“When I left the prison, I was looking for money to buy a motorcycle, that was why I called Ifeanyi to allow me become a member of his gang. Unfortunately, the first one we did was the kidnap of the policeman. I was only given N50,000.”
On how the pistol ended up in his hands, Alozie said he was the one who saved the gang when the policeman wanted to pull the pistol.
“It was at night and no one suspected he had a gun with him. Luckily, I noticed when he pulled the gun and I hit hard till he dropped the gun. I was told to keep it safe till we have another need for a gun.”