*ends presentation, as cross-exam commences
The Onitsha based transporter and Executive chairman/CEO, of GUO Motors Ltd, Chief Godwin Okeke who has been giving evidence in the bone-chilling experience he went through in the hands of a gang of kidnappers on August 23 and 24, 2009, the two days he spent under their captivity when they abducted him shortly after attending early morning church service with his wife at the All Saints Cathedral, Onitsha has concluded his evidence-in-chief before an Onitsha High Court.
Okeke, yesterday fingered a local vigilante operative among the suspects that abducted and kidnapped him between 23rd and 24th August 2009 just as he boarded his car to leave for home from the church premises, with his wife on the steering wheel.
The state vigilante officer who was attached to him was one of the three suspects currently standing trial before an Onitsha High Court presided over by Justice Chudi Nwankwor .
Chief Okeke at yesterday hearing said that the armed operative was attached to him at his Adazi-ani, Anaocha LGA residence who he later gave matching order having discovered he was an unrepentant truant with a gun.He also pointed out that the vigilante was living above his means which gave an indication that he must have been indulging in some other illegal businesses to argument his resources and take care of his large spending appetite.
The transport magnate told the court that the suspect covered his face during the kidnap operation but that he instantly recognized him because he was limping in a particular way as a result of injury he sustained in an accident he had when he was working for him.
He stated that it took over two years before the suspect could be arrested by a combined team of policemen attached to the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS)Awkuzu and some vigilante operators who got him in a hideout in Adazi where he normally retire to during the weeks and run away before weekend when population would increase in the community.
The CEO also disclosed that the first suspect that was arrested mentioned the other suspects who all confessed to the crime . He however expressed worry that of the thirteen suspects arrested , nine were charged to court and the number has drastically reduced to three as most of them were left off the hook either by the police or the court through bail.
He noted that the state was relatively calm since the suspects were in custody as no bank robbery or kidnap took place in the state within the period. The freed suspects, added have been threatening him and his nuclear family leading to the kidnap of his younger brother and an attack on his vehicle at GRA Onitsha few days ago in the commercial city. The attack on his personal car was apparently in effort to nail as it resulted in serious gun duel where his driver who is still receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital was badly injured.
He however stressed that the matter has been reported at the police force headquarter and the Inspector General of Police graciously gave him some police escort pointing out that those that were arrested in connection with the latest attacks would soon appear in court also. He expressed preparedness to give a running battle to the hoodlums that were involved in the kidnap.
In an interview shortly after the session, Okeke noted that with the pockets of nefarious activities around, it shows some of the hoodlums still walking free are unrepentant.
Another suspect that appeared in court was a middle aged auto-mechanic who ran away with a Toyota SUVJeep belonging to the Adazi High chief to Lagos to sell without the knowledge of the owner .
The court adjourned to December 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9, 2013 for an accelerated hearing and further cross examination, as canvassed by Chief Okeke’s counsel, Chris Ajugwe Esq.