In what may be considered a bizarre motive, Mr. Endurance Ebite, who was apprehended for kidnapping, has confessed that he joined a kidnapping gang in order to raise some money to start a business.
Endurance, who is from Ikebiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, made the confession when he and his gang members were paraded by the police in the state during the week.
The suspect, who described himself as a “community boy”, claimed that he was lured into the illicit business by his unnamed friend.
Endurance said, “My friend asked me to come see him about a business. But when I got to his house, I noticed that other friends of his also joined us. He then told the gathering that his sister was rich but stingy.
“He complained that his sister never helped him and that he was suffering a lot. He asked us to kidnap her so that we could get some money.
“We succeeded in abducting the woman and took her to a fishing camp in a village. Later, her people came with one drum of fuel and N1m to free the woman, unknown to us that they had set a trap for us. We were soon caught.
“I am regretting taking part in the crime now. That was my first time of kidnapping a person. I was influenced by my friends.”
The police have said he along with other suspects would be charged to court soon.
Meanwhile, a leader of a gun-running gang, identified as Genewari, who was apprehended by the police as the gang was about to take possession of a cache of AK 47 rifles, claimed he was sent by his community to buy the weapons for vigilante operations.
Genewari, who claimed to be the Chief Security Officer of Anglama community in Rivers State, said they came from Rivers to buy the weapons in Bayelsa because his community was having serious security challenges.
When asked whether the police were aware of such dangerous purchase, he said no, but that his community sanctioned it.
He said, “We are not gun runners. Though we did not inform the police, we are not criminals. We made contacts in Bayelsa on how we could get the guns.
“The sellers told me one gun cost N350,000. We needed two and my community people gave us the money to procure the weapons.”
Endurance and Genewari were among the 37 suspects paraded by the Bayelsa State Police Command in connection with kidnapping, armed robbery, gun-running and sea piracy, among other crimes.
While parading the suspects before journalists at the state police headquarters, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Peter Ogunyanwo, said the command arrested the suspects within the last three months.
He attributed the successful arrests to useful information by members of the public and surveillance by operatives.
Giving insight into how the suspects were arrested, Ogunyanwo said on January 26, 2016, at about 2.30am, a four-man armed robbery/kidnapping gang invaded the residence of one Mr. Godpromise Okoloba along Imiringi Road in Yenagoa.
He said the suspects robbed their victim of N80,000 and abducted him.
According to Ogunyanwo, the kidnappers subsequently contacted the wife of the victim and demanded N5m ransom.
He said the victim’s wife had to withdraw N100,000 to placate the kidnappers and was directed to take the money to Mega Star Company, along Imiringi Road, where the victim was held captive.
“Men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, covertly followed the woman to the location. The kidnappers sensed danger and abandoned the woman. The SARS operatives gave chase and the criminals abandoned their victim in the pursuit. The case is under investigation,” Ogunyanwo said.
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