In a bid to ensure crime free yuletide season the Anambra State Government has stepped-up its pursuit of criminals and kidnappers in their den with the demolition of three buildings used to incarcerate kidnap victims at Aguleri and Umuleri, Anambra East Local Government Area.
The buildings include a four room and parlour bungalow at Ararite Aguleri owned by a man from Umuobanam but used by his caretaker, one Jude Onu from Imo State and his gang to keep kidnap victims including one Tony, an Onitsha based businessman. Other kidnap gangs were said to have used the building as hideout while negotiating for ransome.
Confirming Police encounter with the gang, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Joseph Agugoesi said that five members of the gang were killed in a gun duel with Police last year where the kidnap victim Tony was rescued. According to the ACP, “during the Police raid the sum of five Million Naira paid to the gang as ransome was recovered with two AK Forty-Seven riffles while Jude their leader escaped.”
A member of the community Mr. Lawrence Odinuko confirmed that the house was known as a kidnap den and that the youths had tried to destroy the hideout. He commended Governor Obiano for his dogged fight against crime in the state.
At Umuatulu, Umurueri, a storey building and an adjoining boys quarter were also demolished. The buildings belong to late Ozoemena Egwuatu but were used by his twin nephew Ejima Nwandu for kidnap activities.
One of the suspects in Police custody confirmed that they hid one Mr Ifeanyi whom they kidnapped in Awka and another woman taken at Aroma junction. He said the victims paid seven million and five Million Naira respectively to buy their freedom, while other gangs including one notorious Chibuzo Onowu also used the hideout.
Wife of the late deceased landlord Mr. Egwuatu admitted that the said Ejima Nwandu lived in the house but denied knowledge of their kidnap activities. Also a Community leader who lives in the neighborhood, Mr. Emeke said that Ejima was a notorious robber declared wanted by the community.
ACP Agugoesi confirmed that the suspect Ejima Nwandu who used the Umueri house as kidnap den and some members of the gang were killed in a shootout with the Police last year. He assured Ndi Anambra that the battle against the kidnappers and armed robbers in Anambra would be sustained. Mr. Agugoesi commended Governor Willie Obiano for his resolute stand against criminals and kidnappers and support for law enforcement personnel in Anambra State.