The Abia Police Command says it has arrested 10 armed robbery and kidnap suspects, allegedly terrorising residents of the state.
The Commissioner of Police, Mrs Janet Agbede, disclosed this on Wednesday while briefing newsmen in Umuahia on the recent achievements by the command.
Agbede said two of the suspects confessed to have robbed a former Chief Judge (CJ) of the state (name withheld).
She said the suspects dispossessed their victim of his ATM cards, “compelled him to release his Personal Identification Number (PIN), with which they allegedly withdraw N250,000 from his bank account.
Also in police net were members of a gang that allegedly waylaid one Uzoma Ndubueze of No. 50 Ogwo Street, Ohanku in Aba on June 24, while he was driving into his house.
“The gang members abducted their victim, took his Lexus 330 car to Ntigha, shot and killed him and still collected N700,000 ransom from his family,” Agbede said.
She said the victim’s phone was recovered from the gang leader, Abia Daniel, who confessed that his gang members were nine in number.
She said the arrest was facilitated through intelligence and collaboration with the Inspector-General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team (IRT) on “Operation Restore Peace” mission.
She said the team arrested the suspects at different locations in the state, including Aba.
The police chief said the suspects belonged to two gangs, adding that the smashing of the first gang paved the way for the arrest of the second gang members.
She said that Daniel, 41, who was a member of the first gang, later pulled out to form his own gang, where he became the kingpin.
She said the command recovered one AK 47 rifle with 25 rounds of live ammunition, one pump action gun with 10 cartridges, one locally-made double-barrel cut-to-size gun, with 10 live cartridges, one Volkswagen Jetta car and one cellphone from the suspects.
Agbede said the first gang confessed to have kidnapped more than six persons.
She further said the IRT, acting on intelligence report, arrested one Emmanuel Paul, 22, of No. 40 Ugorji Street, Aba, and Ifeanyi Onyemesere, 18, of Port Harcourt Road, Aba.
She said the suspects attacked one Emmanuel Nnodim, a business man, in his house in Eziama, Aba.
She said the victim was shot in the eye by the suspects, who stole his electronic gadgets, took away his ATM and forcefully obtained his PIN, with which they allegedly withdrew N750,000 from his bank account.
Reacting to the allegations in an interview with newsmen, some of the suspects admitted to the crimes.
One of them, Ifeanyi Paul, admitted to be a member of the gang that attacked the former CJ.
He described the attack as his first operation, saying he was introduced to crime by his friend.
He pleaded with God and police to spear his life, promising never to go back to crime, if pardoned.
The police boss admonished those “who see crime as a way of life to desist from it,” adding that sooner or later they would be arrested.
She also advised residents “to be conscious always, know your neighbours, know your environment, observe, report immediately and ensure you verify any item you wish to buy to avoid buying stolen properties”.