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Nigerian police arrest suspected notorious kidnapper after 7 years of manhunt

Police in Anambra State acting on a tip-off have arrested an alleged notorious kidnap kingpin, Mathew Nwankwo, after being on his trail for seven years.

Nwankwo was arrested at his country home, Nteje in Oyi local government area by officers of the command on Tuesday night, November 29, 2022.

It was that the suspect was a member of a notorious kidnap gang that terrorized the state during the regime of Governor Willie Obiano before his gang members were arrested and he managed to escape.

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He was said to have sneaked into the state, hoping to find refuge, especially as the Obiano government had elapsed.

A source told journalists that Nwankwo worked with other gang members, including; Mr Solomon Chi’buzor Morah aka Mmili and Hyacinth Chibudu.

“Their houses were demolished according to the law of the state. They were, responsible for many kidnap cases and took ransom to the tune of about N70 million from their victims before they were arrested.

The state Police Public Relations Officer of Anambra State Police Command, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga confirmed the arrest of the suspect saying that he was in their custody, adding that further investigations are still ongoing.

Ikenga also said it would be too hasty to make public the preliminary findings in order not to jeopardize further investigations.

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In a related development, the Katsina State Command of the Nigeria Police Force has said its men apprehended a suspected member of the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

The command’s spokesman, SP Gambo Isah, confirmed this to newsmen while parading the suspect alongside other suspects arrested for various crimes in the state.

He identified the suspected ESN member as David Eric Uchenna, who, according to him, also goes by the name Ibrahim Muhammed.

Isah explained that the 19-year-old suspect was arrested at Kofar Sauri Quarters within the Katsina metropolis.

ESN is a proscribed terrorist group in the country’s southeastern part. Speaking further on the suspect’s arrest, SP Gambo said the Enugu State indigene confessed that he used to be under one of the ESN leaders, Emenike (aka SAPELE).

He claimed they have over 400 members in their camp located at Akpogozie forest in Orji River LGA. Uchenna, however, alleged that he’s no longer a member of the dreaded terrorist network. He said, “Truly, I am no longer with them. In fact, I am on their wanted list.”

Uchenna explained how he got to Katsina, saying, “Myself and two others ran to Katsina after we stole the sum of N700,000 from one of the ransom money paid by a kidnapped victim. But they have since fled Katsina for fear of being arrested by the police.

“My mum also lives here in Katsina.”

SP Gambo Isah, who paraded the suspect among other suspects, noted that Uchenna, who is “strongly suspected to be a kidnapper, confessed that his gang kidnapped someone in Imo state and collected the sum of ten million-naira (10,000 000:00K) as ransom but stole the sum of seven hundred (N700,000:00K) out of the ransom and escaped to Katsina State, along with two of his allies, Chuckwuemeka and Chinemerem who had since left Katsina to evade arrest.”

SP Gambo further disclosed that the suspect also confessed to having committed a series of crimes ranging from armed robbery, kidnapping and other heinous crimes in Nigeria’s northeast.

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