By Ngozi Uwujare
Police operatives from the Anambra State Police Command have arrested three suspected kidnappers and armed robbers around Ihiala area of the state.
The suspects – identified as Godwin Obi, Nwachukwu Dennis and Stephen John – are said to have kidnapped over 15 victims, killed policemen and burnt down police stations. They are also alleged to have taken away police ammunitions which they used for robbery before they were intercepted in Ihiala in Anambra State.
Anambra State Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations), Mr. Aderemi Adeoye told Saturday Sun that the hoodlums were ten in number and belonged to a gang of armed robbers and kidnappers.
He said on November 6, the police operatives raided all the hideouts of the criminals who he said had been terrorising Anambra State.
“The three suspects met their Waterloo. They made several attempts to kidnap three victims and took them to their hideout in a town on the Oba axis before the police operatives encountered them. The operatives arrested three suspects and recovered policemen’s AK47 rifles which they collected from policemen who they killed while on duty.”
DCP Adeoye said that the same gang in April 2021 went and burnt down different police stations within and outside Awka and killed policemen on duty and took away their AK 47 rifles and they used the rifles to rob victims who were travelling along Awka/Enugu Expressway.
“Also, the same gang on May 20, 2021 kidnapped four victims in Nnewi and took them to their hideout and collected a ransom running into millions of naira before the victims were released after three days. Later they robbed some passengers along Onitsha/Owerri Road and they engaged policemen in a gun duel along Abanaga and made some attempt to take away their AK47 rifles. But they were repelled and they escaped with bullet wounds,” he said.
DCP Adeoye stated that the same gang recruited another gang into cultism when they robbed some victims at a checkpoint in Ihiala before the police operatives arrested four other gang members.
“Also, the same gang in September/October 2021 burnt down some police stations but they didn’t succeed in taking away policemen AK 47 rifles and went away.
“We strategized and we started raiding the hoodlums’ hideout and arrested some of them and immediately they were charged to court,” he said.
One of the suspects, Godwin Obi told Saturday Sun: “We are ten gang members that specialised in kidnapping and armed robbery. We terrorised the state and we have given policemen a serious fight. We killed some policemen and collected their AK47 rifles and magazines which we used to rob victims and used it to carry out kidnapping. We have kidnapped several victims and collected millions of naira as ransom.
“We are responsible for the burnt police stations in different places in Awka. The more policemen are killing our gang members, the more we continue to recruit more gang members so that we can continue our crime. We have robbed several victims along Onitsha/Owerri and Upper Awka and kidnapped victims along the Nnewi axis and some of our gang members were killed by the policemen,” he said.
Another suspect, Nnachukwu Dennis told Saturday Sun: “I am a member of the gang who supplied arms and ammunition to our gang members. I do rent out some of the arms and ammunition at Onitsha for the sum of N100,000. We used the ammunition for two weeks or month. We shared the money among ourselves. I only participated in the operation twice during which we collected millions of naira as ransom.”
Anambra Police Command said the suspects had been charged to court.