By Ekamma UBA, Senior staff writer
FOUR suspected members of Niger Delta militants who were obviously left to their fate in a rehab camp after they surrendered their arms in response to the federal government’s amnesty programme have warned that a renewed and deadlier menace of the agitators were imminent except urgent measures were put in place to cater to the welfare of members. The visibly hungry looking suspects who were identified as Messrs Debute Terry 23 , John Mubo ,25 , Ikokowemu Mebisent, 25 and Osaina Samson 21; all natives of Ondo State sources said, were arrested in their various hideouts after it was reported that they were wont to hijacking and kidnapping unsuspecting passengers on board boats along Ijegemo in Igando area of Lagos State enrouting Ogun State. CrimeWorld weekly newspaper was told that the suspects’ modus oparandi had been to abduct passengers at gun point and take them to their camps deep in the creeks around the area that were earlier destroyed by security agents after which they would contact relatives of their victims for ransom. But the suspects informed that it was no longer part of their agenda to go back to the creeks and continued with kidnapping for ransom adding that barefaced neglect from the federal government and intense hunger forced them back to criminality. “Yes, we are militants who voluntarily surrendered our weapons . But we went back because government neglected us at the camp. We were only used to get other kidnappers. In one of the raids on kidnappers’ hideout which we led , there Police was able to rescue kidnapped victims and killed some of our recalcitrant members. Government said they will pay us if we surrendered, we did and submitted our weapons at a Police station in Ikeja and Majidun but we were abandoned in the shelter. We stayed there for months without food or money. And out of hunger and neglect, we contacted a friend who gave us a gun . But the gun was not as sophisticated as the ones we dropped with the Police. We decided to go and kidnap people in order to feed. We went to Ijegemo and abducted seven passengers in a boat , kept them in our hide out for a week , at the end of which we got N1.2 million from families of two of them. At the end we freed all our victims. We were eight that went for the operation and we shared the money equally with a fraction to the person that gave us the gun. But while sharing our loot under the bridge along Iba expressway, some OPC boys stormed there and started shooting. As we were running, a Police patrol team arrested us,” narrated one of the suspects.
Corroborating his claim, another member of the group identified as Ekiowemi Mebize, said, “ Government should expect a rebound and a deadlier one for that matter, except urgent attention were paid to the welfare of militants at the various rehab camp. “When we took our weapons to Majidun Police station, our names were taken with a promise by government to get back to us. But since six months we have not heard from the government and we have been borrowing money to feed. We borrowed to pay our children school fees and take care of our parents; right now we are owing so much debt. It was because of this neglect and hunger that our leader, Pasco, gave us weapons and a speed boat resume our kidnapping business. So my advice is that, the government should do something very urgently otherwise, more wahala go dey o!” But briefing newsmen on the arrest of the militants, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command Ag. CP Edgal Imohimi said that the Command would make the state uncomfortable for kidnappers and other criminal elements. He informed that all the suspects paraded would be thoroughly investigated and those found culpable would be arraigned a court of competent jurisdiction.
The four militants, the gun and money recovered form them during parade by Police
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