By Ngozi Uwujare
a man in Kogi State, Ocheja Okedi, may now be able to move about in his neighbourhood freely without being under tension and frequently casting glances around him in fear.
The new sense of peace that seems to have enveloped him has come in the aftermath of the breakthrough recorded by the Kogi State Police Command, which arrested members of the notorious gang that had made life a living tension for him.
As Sunday Sun learnt from the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ali A. Janga, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) arrested 27-year-old Emmanuel Jibril and Thyasa Momoh, 20, both of them members of a kidnap gang that had previously abducted 40-year-old Ocheja Okedi on three occasions in Ochikala in Aloma, Ofo Local Government Area, LGA, Kogi State, and demanded N7 million ransom.
The Kogi police boss said that Jibril and Momoh who are both from Ajaokuta in Omala LGA, invaded the home of the victim in January this year, and abducted him. His family paid a ransom of N500,000 to secure his release. Barely one month after, in February, the same gang stormed his house again and kidnapped him. They took the sum of N6.5 million from the family before releasing him.
Apparently buoyed by the ease with which they got money from him without being caught, greed took hold of their mind and they decided to abduct the victim for the third time. The Commissioner of Police said that on August 19, 2017, they invaded the man’s home about 8pm, abducted and took him to the forest where they held him captive and demanded N7 million ransom from the family.
But this time around, the family felt enough was enough and reported to the police, which activated the Special Armed Robbery Squad. The operatives stormed the bush with the aid of intelligence gathered by the force. There was fierce exchange of gunshots, but the firepower of the police overwhelmed the gang. The victim was rescued from the hideout. The two suspects, Jibril and Momoh were arrested, while another member, Bello, is still at large.
The police recovered two locally made pistols, five live cartridges, military boots and a black mask.
When he spoke with Sunday Sun, one of the suspects, Emmanuel, said: “We have been involved in several kidnappings. It was one of us, Bello, who said we should abduct the victim. We kidnapped him three times,”
The visibly elated victim, Ocheja Okedi, expressed appreciation to the police command for the prompt response to the distress call made to them by his brother. “I am very happy. I want to thank the police commissioner and the commander of SARS and his men. The SARS operatives are doing wonders in Kogi State.
Janga added that the two suspects would soon be charged to court while the police will remain on the trail of Bello, who is still at large.