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Posted by By MURPHY GANAGANA, Abuja on 2008/06/09 | Views: 2549 |

How we operate…

She was held captive for almost three weeks in a dingy hide-out by a gang of stone-hearted kidnappers who operated between Rivers and Imo states in the eastern flank of the country. And within that period, her husband, Mr Frank Nneji, Managing Director of the ABC Transport company, saw hell like his beloved wife.

* Satanic confessions of kidnap gang that abducted wife of ABC boss

She was held captive for almost three weeks in a dingy hide-out by a gang of stone-hearted kidnappers who operated between Rivers and Imo states in the eastern flank of the country. And within that period, her husband, Mr Frank Nneji, Managing Director of the ABC Transport company, saw hell like his beloved wife.

Tormented by the mental picture of his heartthrob’s harrowing experience as days rolled into weeks and the resilience of her abductors to hold on to their prized prey until the right ransom is paid, Nneji had to part with a whopping N10 million for his wife to breathe an air of freedom.

But less than a month after smiling away with the proceeds of their nefarious act, three of her abductors have been apprehended, among them an undergraduate of the Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri, who, ironically, bears the saintly name of an angel.
For 26-year-old Angel Gabriel Enifoghale, he had desired a practical replay of the satanic exploits of the biblical Lucifer, whose desperation in perpetrating evil respected not even divine boundaries. Thus, on this bright Sunday morning in April this year, he set out with members of his gang on a mission to the Catholic Church in the Control area of Owerri, the Imo state capital, not as a guardian angel, but to unleash terror and pain on a hapless woman.

The gangsters closed in on Mrs Nneji shortly after she drove out of the church premises in a sports utility vehicle and captured her in commando style to commence a long, tortuous journey to a dungeon which became her abode for about three weeks.
Caught in the hook, Gabriel confessed belonging to a campus secret cult. According to him, he was lured into the plot to kidnap Mrs Nneji by Michael Okwukwu alias Chairman, whom he claimed to have met through one Emeka, now at large.

Giving a graphic account of how the plot was executed, Gabriel denied any direct involvement in the act, but admitted receiving the sum of N200,000 from the ransom paid by the victim’s hubby. He, however, claimed ignorance of the hideout Mrs Nneji was kept while in captivity.
Hear him: "I knew Chairman (Michael Okwukwu) through one Emeka when I had a problem in school. It was a cult-related problem and my property were seized by the police. Chairman promised to retrieve my property for me, and that was how we became familiar. One day, Emeka called me and asked if I had seen Chairman. I said no. Then, at about 10pm of the next day, Chairman called me on phone and said he had a job for me at Owerri. I am a student of FUTO.

"On that Sunday morning, two persons including Emeka, came to me in a Golf car and said we should move to the Catholic Church in Control area of Owerri. They asked if I knew Owerri very well, and I said yes. Then, we moved close to the church and Emeka and someone else was communicating regularly on phone. When the church service was over, I noticed that they had kidnapped somebody, but I never knew it was the wife of the chairman of ABC Transport. I did not follow them to execute the act.

"After the mission had been accomplished, they said they were going to Port Harcourt. Since I also intended going there, I followed them and dropped off immediately we arrived. Later, Emeka called me and gave me N200,000. When I was eventually arrested by the police, the Commissioner of Police in charge of Imo asked me about the whereabouts of the Jeep the woman was driving when she was kidnapped. He told me he would kill me if I did not tell him where the vehicle was.

So, I called Chairman and told him, ‘please, I don’t want to die, bring the Jeep to the police.’ But he did not heed my advice."
However, a mild drama unfolded as Okwukwu, who denied master-minding the plot, accused Gabriel of being economical with the truth, claiming he did not play a major role as was alleged. Although he also admitted collecting N50,000 from the booty, Michael, who claims to be a dealer in Coca-cola products, said he was on a trip to Makurdi from Elele, his Rivers State base, when Mrs Nneji was abducted. But he confessed to have been involved in two kidnap cases.

His words: "On the day of the incident, I was not at home. I traveled. I passed them on the way while I was traveling with my bus from Port Harcourt to Makurdi. Angel called me on phone. He called to say they were through with the job. So now, Angel is not telling the truth. When the police arrested him, they put him inside the boot of the car and he then used his phone to call Emeka and other members of the gang, telling them to take off. That was how they escaped arrest. He knows the truth, but doesn’t want to say it."

For Chimauche Ohiri, the third member of the gang, mum was the word as he sat on the floor of the IGP’s conference hall at the police headquarters in Abuja, his head bowed in shame.
The Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, who paraded them before newsmen in Abuja, said Ohiri was indeed the first suspect to be arrested by the police and that he led detectives to fish out his two other comrades in crime.
Okiro, who also disclosed that four vehicles were recovered from the three suspects, also fingered the gang for the abduction of Pa Chukwu, father of a businessman, Chief Tony Chukwu, from who they also extorted N2million.

Like the trio of Ohiri, Michael and Gabriel, five others, including three students, are also in police custody for allegedly kidnapping the son of a legislator, Simon Iwunze.
The IGP gave their names as Patrick Anayo, Nnamdi Ihenetu, Obinna Amah, Oparaku Uchechukwu, and Tanko Ibrahim.
Apart from Anayo and Ibrahim, Ihenetu, Amah and Oparaku are students of Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, and Alvan Ikoku College of Education respectively.
While confessing to the crime, Ihenetu said he got N300,000 from the ransom paid by Hon. Iwunze to secure his son’s freedom just as Obinna and Ibrahim got N150,000 each, with Patrick and Oparaku received N20,000.

Okiro, who was apparently shocked by the revelations of the suspects, some of whom are teenagers, described kidnapping as a frontline crime in the eastern part of the country.
Said he: "Kidnapping has become a front burner issue in the polity. First, it was in the Niger Delta region. Now, it is a frontline crime in states such as Abia, Imo and Anambra. But it is the resolve of this administration of the police force to fight crime to a standstill, and much attention has been focused on how to arrest situation in these states."

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