Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A 43-year-old prophet, Kingsley Jeremiah Amos and three others have been arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) in Bayelsa State over alleged attempt to kidnap the Chairman of the Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa state, Mr Uroupaye Nimizuoa.
The three other suspects arrested alongside Amos are 38-years- old ICT expert, Philip Anayo Okorie, an indigene of Akanu Community in Ohafia Local Government area of Abia State, 37- years- old spiritualist, Tari Erigi, from Okordia-Zarama community in Yenagoa Local Government and one 35-years- old woman, Nsikan Umoh Sunday from Akwa Ibom State.
According to investigations, the suspects were sending life threatening text messages to Nimizuoa, his mother and members of his family which prompted a petition to the DSS.
The DSS Deputy Director of Operations, Femi Shotayo in his remarks while parading the suspects said Okorie used his ICT expertise to aid the syndicate.
”In connivance with his syndicate, they took advantage of his relationship with the victim and fraudulently initiated life threatening calls including threat to kidnap on the victims using unknown GSM numbers in a bid to extort the victim.”
“Okorie was eventually arrested by operatives of the service in Abia state. And Amos, who paraded himself as a clergy and prophet before the victim, collaborated with his Mistress/wife, one Nsikan Umoh Sunday and threatened to kidnap the victim. Findings further showed that the threat was aimed at compelling their victim to contact them for prayers in exchange for money. They were apprehended in Calabar and both have confessed to the crime.”
“Also arrested was Erigi who is a spiritualists and ally of the Council Chairman who sent a threat of kidnap to the victim in order to extort money from the later. Meanwhile, all the suspects have voluntarily confessed to the crime under investigation, just as exhibits linking the suspects with the crime have been recovered.”
Nimizuoa who opened up on the attempted kidnap said he had to alert security agencies over the alleged threat by the arrested suspects due to the March 5th, 2020 experience in which his mother, Madam Betty Nimizoua, was abducted by unidentified gunmen.
“ While in court over the arrest of the key suspect in the kidnap of my mother, I started receiving threats of kidnap from unknown numbers and I reported to the security agencies. The key suspect, Philip, was shown to me as the person threatening me that if I don’t release the arrested kidnapper of my mother, they will kidnap me.”
“Philip was also the same person brought to me by the Police to work with me as an independent phone tracker to track the phone lines. I had thanked the police for rescuing my mother and providing me with evidence to prosecute my mother’s kidnappers but little did I know that the independent tracker working with me was a kidnapper. The second suspect came to me and said he wanted to pray with me. And I opened my doors to him but he turned around to be sending life threatening messages.”
Okorie has however denied the charges of attempted kidnap brought against him noting that he has a 12 years working relationship with the Nigerian Police as an independent Data/Phone calls analysts involved in locating kidnappers and their victims.