Police storm forest, rescue three from suspected kidnappers
Operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Imo State Police Command in the early hours of yesterday stormed a forest located in Avu, Owerri West Local Council of Imo State and arrested a seven-man gang of suspected kidnappers.
In the process, three victims, who had been blindfolded and held in the dungeon of the abductors, were freed. Several arms, wraps of Indian hemp, a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), handsets belonging to the victims, two machetes and other items were recovered from the suspects.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Andrew Enwerem, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), who paraded the suspects, gave their names as Chukwuebuka Augustine, 22, from Egbeada Owerri; Romania Ukabi, 28, a native of Isiagwu, Ebonyi State; Ikechukwu Nwachukwu, 34, Ezinihitte Mbaise; Chikamso Onyewuchi, 25, from Ejemekuru, Oguta Imo State; and Collins Nwaekwe, 24, who hails from Obizi, Aboh Mbaise Imo State.
Others are Chibuike Maduba, 26, of Umukoronopelu, Ngor Opkala Local Council of Imo State and Ikechukwu Okere, 20, a native of Umuokoronekwenye, Ngor Opkala Local Council of the state.
Those rescued unhurt from their abductors’ captivity were Francis Ugorji, abducted on May 6, from Awaka, Owerri North Local Council; Ahanonu Chika, kidnapped on May 6, along Works Layout, Owerri North Local Council, of Imo State and Chibuike Nwaozo, a native of Awo-Omama, Oru East Local Council. He was kidnapped with Chika.
Meanwhile, a community leader and activist, Nze Ebubeagu Ekenulo, has given herdsmen 48 hours to vacate his community, Agbaja, Nwangele Local Council, with their cattle. At the end of the deadline, he threatened that the youths from the community would march them with the required force.
Ekenulo’s ultimatum is contained in a petition he forwarded to the governor, Rochas Okorocha; Commissioner of Police, Chris Okey Ezike; Deputy Speaker of the House of Assembly, Ugonna Ozurigbo; Transition Committee chairman of the council; and the Department of State Services (DSS), among others, on Monday.
He appealed to the cattle rearers to desist from alleged destruction and ravaging of the farms, economic trees and vegetation in the community and take their cattle away, advising the Hausa/Fulani community in the state ensure compliance.