Men of the Imo state police command says its operatives have re-arrested two inmates who escaped during the April 2021 jailbreak at the Imo correctional centre.
A statement released by the spokesperson of the state police command, Michael Abattam, states that the escapees were arrested over the alleged kidnap of two residents identified as Dominic Chukwuma and Silas Nnawubia. The residents were said to have been kidnapped from Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of the state on April 30.
“Following a report of the kidnapping of one Dominic Chukwuma and Silas Nnawubia received by the command’s anti-kidnapping unit on 30th April, 2022, the operatives immediately swung into action,” the statement reads.
After gathering both credible and technical intelligence, the radar revealed the location of the criminal’s hideout in Ahiazu Mbaise LGA of Imo State.
On storming the kidnappers’ den on Thursday, the police operatives disclosed that they arrested one Obinna Onuoha, aged 35 years, a native of Umuegwu Mpam, and Igbokwe Joseph, aged 35 years, a native of Umuchoko Ihitte Aforukwu — both natives of Ahiazu Mbaise local government area of Imo State.
The victims held captive by the kidnappers were rescued unhurt.
While interrogating the suspects, the Imo Police Command hinted that the suspects already confessed to the crime of kidnapping, thereby revealing how they escaped from Imo Correctional Centre on the 5th of April, 2021, and after their escape, they got a hideout in Ahiazu Mbaise, and formed a kidnapping syndicate with their hideouts in strategic areas in the state.
They have been the ones involved in most of the deadly kidnapping incidents recorded in the state.”the statement read
The police spokesman added that the suspects later took the operatives to their various hideouts in the state, after which most of their gang members were arrested.
The police gave the names of the suspects as Sunday Richard from Cross River, Comfort Ogbo and Igbo Simeon from Benue, as well as Tochi Chilak, Cyril Iwuagwu, Nkechinyere Ibe, and Ebo Ubochi from Imo state.
Items said to be recovered from the alleged kidnappers’ hideouts include; one AK-47 rifle with 84 rounds of live ammunition, four locally-made pistols, 46 rounds of live cartridges, one Toyota 4Runner SUV vehicle belonging to a victim, and multiple ATM cards.
Meanwhile, the victims have been reunited with their family members, while the police say efforts are on to arrest the remaining members of the syndicate who are at large.