|Late Barr Atsuwete|
The Police have paraded a father, his son and two others for their alleged involvement in the kidnap and murder of a Port Harcourt-based human rights lawyer, Mr. Ken Atsuwete.
The victim was murdered in cold blood on August 29 along Onuchiolu Road, Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Rivers State.
The police explained that the suspects were arrested by the IGP’s Monitoring Unit based in Port Harcourt after investigation.
The suspects include Chibiko James Amuzuo Okwuono, Amadi Nathaniel, Ezims Aleru and Junior Aleru.
Exhibits recovered from them include one AK 47 rifle, 124 live ammunition and four AK 47 magazines.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Abuja about their operation, Force Spokesman, Don Awunah, said: “Four suspects were arrested in connection with the case. The leader of the gang, Chibiko James, is a 22-year-old native of Umuchie in Omuna Local Governmnet Area of Rivers State and the leader of the gang.
“He is a self-confessed member of the Iceland Cult group, Kelga Marinner and a notorious kidnapper.
“He also confessed to have led his gang of armed men to murder the deceased. The AK 47 rifle with which he killed the deceased was recovered.
“Also, contrary to wide public suspicion that he was hired to assassinate the deceased, the suspect, according to his statement, revealed that the murder was a result of botched kidnap attempt,” Awunah stated.
He also said that other members of the gang confessed to committing the crime.
The suspects, in what appeared to be a blame game, blamed each other for the crime.
The gang leader, Chibiko James, explained that Ezims Aleru and his wife were responsible for the operation.
According to him, “this man (Ezims) led us into all these things. He and his wife are responsible for this operation.”
Asked if they committed the crime, another member of the gang, Nathaniel Amadi, 21, said: “We did it, but it was not intentional.
“I joined the gang because my father was killed, our house was burnt and my mother is sick in the hospital.
“We did not know that the man we kidnapped was a lawyer.
“The man died because he was struggling and dragging the gun with us.
“He died in the process of dragging the gun.
“While we were struggling, he mistakenly shot himself in the leg and died.
“We didn’t intend to kill him.”
Asked if they were hired to do the job, he simply said: “We were not sent.
“We didn’t even know who he was.
“We saw his car approaching on the road and we decided to stop him and try our luck.
“We actually wanted to kidnap him for ransom, but he ended up dead.