Operatives of the Abia Police Command have arrested a kidnap suspect identified as Ugochukwu Nwafor after he reportedly collected a ransom of N2m deposited in a Sport Utility Vehicle along Ibeku Ngwa axis of Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.
It was learnt that the suspect had earlier sent a threat through text message to one Mr. Silas Kanu on his GSM number from another mobile phone, demanding N2m from him or else, he would face the risk of being kidnapped.
Worried about the development, Kanu reported the matter to the police.
Acting on the information, police detectives played along with the hoodlums and deposited the ransom in an SUV at Ibeku Ngwa junction along the highway at the request of the suspect and members of his gang while surveillance was mounted around the area.
It was gathered that one Ugochukwu Nwafor and another suspect identified only as Chinweike came out from the bush and took the ransom and ran back to the bush.
Police operatives reportedly went after them and arrested Nwafor along with the GSM phone and number they used in sending the text message to Kanu earlier.
The police also arrested one Ndubueze Frederick and Chinomso Ukaegbu from Umuibe village in Obingwa Local Government in connection with the kidnap of a lawyer, Mr. Emeka Nnaji.
It was gathered that the police, who were acting on a tip-off that some kidnapers were holding a victim hostage in a hideout at Umuibe in Obingwa LGA, swung into action in collaboration with members of the vigilante group in the area.
According to a police source, the hoodlums, on sighting the police, opened fire on them and during the exchange of fire, police arrested the suspect and rescued the victim unhurt.
The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeleye Oyebade, confirmed the arrest of the suspects.
Oyebade said the hoodlums had made useful statements while efforts had been intensified to recover the lawyer’s Toyota Highlander SUV and arrest the fleeing suspects.
He said, “We have zero tolerance for heinous crimes such as kidnapping, child theft and armed robbery because we want to make Abia a peaceful place for the economy to improve and for activities related to commerce to grow.
“Policing is everybody’s business; we are going to practise community policing. I want to appreciate Abians for their commitment and cooperation for giving us relevant and dependable information that have assisted us so far.
“I am giving all Abians the assurance that we will continue to be proactive and improve on our response time to distress calls and on the manner we police the state with the contribution of the members of the public that are ready to work with us.”