Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Two notorious kidnappers on the wanted list of the Bayelsa State Police Command have been arrested by operatives of the Operation Puff Adder of the command.
The two suspects Nelson Waripamo popularly known as Mandela and Jackson Dakolo, are heads of deadly kidnap gangs that also specialise in robbery and have been fingered in several high-profile kidnappings in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital and its environs.
Investigations revealed that Mandela and Dakolo, aged 34-years-old and 35- years-old respectively both from Gbarantoru community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state have collected ransom raging between N5m to N20m from their victims
Some of the gang members now on the run are from Azuzuama and Korokorosei communities in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and Okugbe community in Rivers State.
According to police sources, Mandela a resident of Onopa in the state capital and married with three wives, was alleged to be the brain behind the May 26 abduction of Mrs. Orela Oyibo, the 38 -years-old wife of Dr. Charles Oyibo, a lecturer in the state-owned Niger Delta University.
While Mandela was arrested following a tip-off, Dakolo, on the other hand, walked into police net when he visited the operational headquarters of the Operation Puff Adder to secure the release of his cousin arrested for armed robbery.
“He came to secure the release of his brother and was promptly identified by one of the policemen for popping up on the police’s wanted list. He was responsible for the January 24 abduction of a retired oil worker, Engr. Duncan Eke at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Igbedi community of Southern Ijaw area of the State. He led his gang to shoot the clergy of the Anglican Church in the leg while escaping with their victim and later shot the victim in the leg for the reluctance of the family to pay up the N70 million demanded.”
Although the kidnap cases took place before the setting up of the Operation Puff Adder led by DSP Christian Nwaogbo, the arrest of the duo was linked to some cases of armed robbery attack on bank customers which had now re-opened the kidnap cases.
A reliable source said with the arrest of the two suspects, the Operation Puff Adder and the State Police Command have redoubled their efforts at counter kidnapping, armed robbery and cultism in the state
“Most of these criminals are reaching out to be engaged for upcoming political activities; the police are all out for them,” he said.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Mr Asimin Butswat, confirmed the development and said investigations were still on-going and details would be made available later.