MEMBERS of a kidnap syndicate believed to have participated recently in the abduction of the Vice Chancellor (VC), Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Prof. Cyprian Onyeji, have been arrested by the police in Enugu.
Their arrest at the Safety Hotel, located in Uwani, Enugu, followed intelligence information provided to policemen who had been on the trail of the criminals for some time now.
Police Public Relations Officer in Enugu, Ebere Amaraizu, confirmed in a statement yesterday that the syndicate had participated in various crimes, including kidnapping in the South-East region.
He said the hoodlums were arrested after an exchange of gun battle at the premises of the hotel. One of the hoodlums was said to have escaped with bullet wounds.
The statement added: “Following the kidnap of the vice chancellor, the operatives who have been on the trail of the kidnappers, on 11/9/12 at about 4.00 p.m. following the revelations gotten through their intelligence network and mechanism, arrested one Osinachi Iheanacho, Ejike Aba and Obinna Okoro from a commercial bus at Agbogugu axis of Awgu in Enugu State along Enugu Port Harcourt expressway.”
According to the police, the suspected kidnappers “confessed when they realised that their game was already up and revealed that their gang leader and other members of the gang had arrived earlier from Port Harcourt. Then, at about 1.30 a.m. of 12/9/12, the operatives were led to Safety Hotels at Uwani in Enugu State where gun duel ensued between the suspected kidnappers and the security operatives. And after the serious gun battle, one Ezebilo Ihiemere (Alias GAGO), Ifeanyi Kingsley Edeh, Ani Chidiebere, Udeonu Ernest and Chibuzor Eze were arrested while one Chiboy escaped from the roof top of a three storey building with serious gun injury.”
Items recovered from the suspects include “a Volkswagen Vento car with registration No Aq 780 BRS which, when searched, two sunshade glasses, property of one of their victims, were identified by the victim who was on hand to see things for himself. Two AK 47 riffles and five loaded magazines with 52 rounds of ammunitions were also recovered.”
Amaraizu disclosed that the suspects had given convincing insight into their role in the kidnap of the vice chancellor as well as other kidnapping incidents in the state.
Meanwhile, the command has applauded the cooperation of sister security agencies in the state, the media and members of the public for their timely and useful information and assistance leading to the arrest of the criminals, assuring that it would continue to partner with them towards eradicating crimes in the state.
It charged members of the public, particularly hospital operators, to watch out for any one with bullet injuries and promptly report same to the police for appropriate action.
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