17 suspects was on Tuesday paraded by police in Ebonyi state, for various crimes including kidnapping, murder and armed robbery.
Among those paraded were those that allegedly killed three Catholic worshippers at the Immaculate conception parish in Abakaliki, the state capital on the night of December 24th , 2023.
Also paraded were the suspects that kidnapped some United States Returnees in Afikpo, Afikpo local government area of the state on 31st of December,2023.
DSP Joshua Ukandu Acting Police Public Relations Officer of the command told journalists during the parade of the suspects that one Friday Igwe and Nnabugwe Ebube were responsible for the murder of three parishioners of Immaculate Catholic Conception parish, Nkwagu in Abakaliki the state capital.
He said “On 24/12/2023, armed men invaded the premesis of Immaculate Conception Catholic church, Nkwagu and killed on Cyril Obinna Mbam, Nwifuru Chukwuebuka Mathew and Alo Onyedikachi Solomon and made away with a black Toyota Corolla belonging to late Obinna Cyril Mbam.
“Operatives of the command swung into action and apprehended Friday Igwe and Nnabugwe Ebube and recovered the Toyota Corolla. The apprehended suspects have provided leads for further arrest”.
In an interview, Njoku Michael from Abia narrated how they carried out the crime and that they collected N40million ransom before freeing the victims.
“We were four persons that carried out the kidnap but it was only two of us that were captured by the police and we don’t know where the others are.
“We didn’t kill anybody, the lady that died was out of fear, we didn’t shoot anybody. The person that involved me into the kidnap of these persons we kidnapped in Ebonyi didn’t disclose it to me. The man that involved me is a Fulani man, he is my customer. He buys things from me in my shop where I sell provision
“The man came to my shop on 13th December, 2023 with his cattle. I told him, Alhaji, you have many cows now o. he told me, yes, the cows are mine. I pleaded with him to borrow me N50,000 and promised to pay him back on February this year. He told me that he has no money and promised to get get back to me.
“Five days later, the man came back to me, he didn’t come back with his cattle this time around. He told me that he wants to carry me to work in Afikpo, Ebonyi state and I have never been to Afikpo before. I asked him the type of work he wants to carry me told and he told me its manure work, that he wants me to bag it and if I work hard, I will earn N30,000 or N40,000 in four days. Is said okay and called my brother to be taking care of my shop so that I will follow the Alhaji and go for that work.
“I followed the man to Afikpo and we got to Afikpo on that new year in the evening. He bought me food and lodged me in one hotel. In the money, he stopped bike and told me to join him in the bike and he took me to a thick forest and told he he was coming back. He went and brought two of his brothers and kept them with me. He didn’t tell me what we want to do and it was evening period.
“He left us and came back with a bag. When he turned it on the ground, it was a gun and a cloth. I asked him what we are going to do with gun, he asked me I think you said you are looking for money, this is the time we are going to look for the money. He prepared himself finished and told us to follow him we got to a bush path where he ordered us toi stay in a corner in that bush path.
“When we were in the bush, he saw a jeep coming and shot on the air. The vehicle stopped and he attacked the vehicle and opened it. There were two men and one woman and he ordered the two men and one woman out on the ground and told them to follow us. He was at the front directing us and we followed him to a thick forest. We trekked for two hours before we got to the thick forest”.
Njoku said he got $30 dollars from the N40 million ransom and that the ransom was both in dollars and naira.