By Ekamma UBA, Senior Staff Investigator, Lagos.
TWO out of an ostensibly inexperienced gang of kidnappers sending threat of kidnap text messages to an oil firm in a community in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital have landed in ACP Abba Kyari- led IRT’s web. Sources said the suspects, one of who had just been granted bail from the prison had been sending threat text messages to the oil firm to either pay an initial N20m ransom to them and thereafter, place them on a monthly N3m salary or have top managers of the company kidnapped and their installations blown up. Investigation by CrimeWorld revealed that the suspects identified as Messrs LoveGod Chinuzioke and Justice Okolo belonged to a gang christened Amalgamated Niger Delta Avengers while the oil firm, Niger Delta Petroleum Resources is located in Obumeze community in Ahoada Local Government Area of Rivers State. Terrified by the incessant threat messages, the oil firm reportedly wrote an SOS petition to the Inspector-General of Police IGP, Ibrahim Idris who promptly mandated the Intelligence Response Team IRT to tackle the issue. A statement from the Abuja office of IRT obtained by us which gave blow by blow account of how the suspects were rounded up in their hideouts states thus: “On May 11, 2018, sequel to several reports of threat received by the Niger Delta Petroleum Resources, NDPR located in Obumeze community in Ahoada local government area by a group named Amalgamated Niger Delta Avengers, operatives of the IRT deployed to Port Harcourt swooped into action and arrested two principal actors who posed as militants and threatened the company. The threat messages demanded an initial payment of n20m and to be placed o monthly salary of N3m; failure to do so would be followed with kidnap, death, vandalism and explosion attacks on the company’s assets. The suspects are LoveGod Chinuzioke, 27, native of Obumeze community, Ahoada LGA, Rivers State. He is from the host community of NDPR and was just granted bail from the Port Harcourt maximum prison for a case of armed robbery and kidnapping. He hatched the idea of extorting money from the company and got contact numbers of the senior personnel of NDPR.”
The statement continued, “The second suspect, Justice Okolo 25, is a native of Aniocha LGA, Delta State. He composed and sent the threat messages to the company. The suspect also admitted belonging to a notorious armed robbery gang terrorizing Ahoada and environs and the phone used for the threat was recovered from them; adding, “Efforts are still on going to arrest the remaining accomplices presently at large and recover their arms, ammunition and explosives.