SSS Parades Kidnappers Of Jonathan’s Uncle, Others
The Department of State Security (DSS) has apprehended the kidnappers of Chief Nitabai Inengite, the uncle of President Goodluck Jonathan, who was abducted from Otuoke community in Ogbia Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, last February.
The kidnappers, who were paraded at the DSS headquarters in Abuja yesterday, comprised a 400-level student of the University of Jos, Plateau State, Eldred Jonah, 30; Raphael Inengesi, 32; Ibeabuchi Inya, 29; Oreva Abridi, 29; Tammy Agbai, 29; and a traditional doctor, Felix Onuoh, 48.
DSS also paraded another set of kidnappers who were involved in the abduction of two sisters – Ejura and Unekwu Opaluwa – at Karmo, Abuja on June 8.
The suspects are Oyemire Asagba, 29 (aka Paul/Sky); Sunday Attah, 30 (aka Shyne); Zacheaus Salami, 30 (aka 'D' armourer); Victor Bassey, 32; a driver, Sani Mohammed, 23; and Aragba Ademo, 33 (aka IT/Topson).
Others included Ojo Gambo, 22; Haruna Asama, 38; Dikko Iko, 22; and Mohammed Adamu, 20 (aka Mikifi/Abu).
The DSS’ Deputy Director, Public Relations, Marilyn Ogar, who paraded the suspects, explained that Jonah masterminded the abduction of Inengite and provided the takeoff grant of N40,000 for arms procurement and other logistics.
According to her, the suspect confessed that he carried out the surveillance on the victim and that the gang had two teams for the operation, comprising the land team made up five persons and the water (speedboat) team made up of three persons.
Ogar stated that four pump action rifles were used for the kidnapping, adding that Inengite was whisked away in an grey coloured Honda SUV to Onuegbu waterside, from where he was transferred into a waiting speedboat and taken to the creeks.
She said: “The victim was held captive at two different locations within Bayelsa State – in the creeks of Brass, very close to the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean and Okigbene creeks."
Following a security operation by this service, he was released after 17 days in captivity without payment of ransom. Investigations into the incident eventually led to the arrest of the six suspects in Bayelsa, Delta and Edo States.
Ogar stated that Agbai, an unemployed graduate of Accounting from the University of Port Harcourt, was the owner of the black Golf car that was used for the abduction, adding that the suspect had denied involvement in the kidnapping, claiming that one of his friends, Jonah, had asked to use the car for a burial ceremony, which he obliged him.
During the question and answer session with reporters, Jonah who admitted to providing the money and undertaking the surveillance for the abduction, claimed that the motivation for the operation was not ransom.
Onuoha, the native doctor, in his defence, explained that he provided charms and herbal fortification for the kidnap gang because he was afraid that they might harm him and his family if he had not cooperated with them.
He said: “Abridi came with three men and said they wanted juju for business success, which I prepared for them. They later said that it was not what they wanted, that they wanted to kidnap someone and wanted charms for protection.
“The moment they said that, their countenance changed and I was afraid that if I didn’t cooperate with them, they might harm me and my family because I was with my family at the time, so I agreed to help them and I asked them to pay me 19 per cent of the ransom.”
Ogar explained that the leader of the kidnappers of two girls in Abuja, Asagba, had confessed to the crime, adding that the operation was carried out by him and four other gang members.
She said: “Paul had been arrested previously at a military checkpoint in Uke, Keffi LGA, Nasarawa State in possession of two AK-47 rifles, magazines and 87 rounds of live ammunition.”
According to Ogar, Asagba was arraigned in court, convicted and sentenced to one-and-a-half years in prison, which he served at Keffi Prison in March 2013.
“Upon his release, he returned to his criminal ways and confessed that he kidnapped the two sisters at Life Camp, Abuja, and that the gang collected N10 million as ransom before releasing the victims. But they lied to the coopted members, informing them that they received only N6 million,” she stated.
Ogar added that the gang coopted Dikko, the security guard, at the victims’ residence who provided information on the movement of the Opaluwa family.
The DSS spokesperson said Dikko had confided in a kinsman, Ezekiel, that his employer, the father of the kidnapped girls, usually kept money at home and it was Ezekiel who promised to introduce him to friends that could steal the money.