DSS arraigns eight kidnap suspects in Port Harcourt court
Elumelu Foundation condemns trafficking, supports NAPTIP
No fewer than eight suspected kidnappers arrested by the Department of State Security (DSS) have been arraigned at a Port Harcourt Magistrate court.The suspects, comprising seven males and a female were charged to court at the weekend on a six count charge of kidnapping, possession of AK 47 riffles, pump action guns, dane guns and other lethal weapons.
The suspects are: Godknows Wokem, Promise Jim, Kingsley Worlu Chuku, Uchendu Macpherson Elindam, Obinna Chuku, Henry Elebiga, Destiny Chidiebere Wosu, Stanley Ibuchi Wosu and Elizabeth Chuku
They were accused of demanding and collecting ransom from their kidnap victims and also violating the country’s terrorism Act. The DSS claimed that the suspects were responsible for the spate of kidnaping and other criminal activities in Port Harcourt, Rumuokini, Aluu, Choba, and Emohua communities.
But Luck ran out on them after they allegedly abducted a consultant with the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH), Alexander Akani on June 28, 2017.
“On or about the 28th June 2017, Aluu road, Rumuekini within the jursidction of this court did conspire to commit felony to wit kidnap of Alexander Akani, a consultant at the University of Port Harcourt, UPTH and thereby committed an offence contrary to setion 516 Criminal code laws of Rivers state 1999,” part of the charge read.
The Chief Magistrate, F.M. Amanze, subsequently ordered that the suspects be remained in prison custody and adjourned the matter to October 30, 2017. Meanwhile, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has condemned trafficking in persons in Nigeria and beyond and expressed support for the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
The Foundation stated this while hosting the director general of the agency, Julie Okah-Donli following its recognition of the growing concerns for human trafficking in Africa and around the world
Speaking, Okah-Donli, pointed out that the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) ranked human trafficking as the third most lucrative criminal enterprise in Nigeria.
Thus, agencies like NAPTIP need good laws, sustained funding and support from local and global stakeholders to execute the war against human trafficking. Responding, Tony Elumelu, Founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, commended Okah-Donli for her accomplishments at the agency and the conviction of over 325 persons, as well as the rehabilitation of more than 12,000 victims.
“She is a former employee of the United Bank for America (UBA), Africa’s global bank and so we are not surprised at what she has become. We predicted that she will attain great heights because of her passion for human trafficking,” he said.