The Anambra State Police Command has arrested 38-year-old wanted kidnap suspect, Okafor, a graduate of Mathematics from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Okafor popularly known as Igwe did not only fall afoul of the law as a kidnapper, he also messed up the temple of God by keeping his victims in a church and sharing his loot with the pastor.
Once on a mission to collect N5 million ransom from the family of victim in Asaba, Delta State, he was rounded up by crack policemen and locked up in a cell.
Okafor, however, escaped through the window of the cell to continue his evil trade until the hardworking members of the State Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Anambra ended his reign of terror.
The kidnap kingpin spoke with Sunday Sun:
“I graduated from Unizik in 2006 and I studied Mathematics. I did my NYSC in Abuja and I served in NNPC at Berger. After graduation I was going to Ghana to buy clothes to sell in Lagos State.
“I am now involved totally in kidnapping where I make quick money. When I kidnapped I used to take my victims to my church in Awkuzu where the General Overseer, Pastor Nwaezeagu always collects the victims from us and at the end, we would give him his own share. We decided to join the church so that the members would not suspect us that we were keeping some victims we kidnapped inside the church.”
“I was the one who was involved in the kidnapping of the traditional prime minister in Enugu-Ukwu and we collected N50 million from the victim before we released him and I gave Pastor Nwaezeagu his 20 per cent share on that day.
“I kidnapped another woman in Awka and collected N30 million from the family of victim and kept her in the church and, after the family paid the ransom, I released the suspect and I gave Pastor Nwaezeagu the sum of N200,000.”
Okafor who hails from Anambra West Local Government Area continued: “Myself and my gang kidnapped one victim, Chief John Uchachuwu at Asaba and we demanded the sum of N5 million. The family of the victim called me to come and take the money at Asaba. When I got to Asaba I collected the N5 million but the policemen from the anti-kidnap arrested me and they took me to Delta State and put me inside their cell.”
He said that he escaped through the toilet of the cell and quickly moved to Anambra State to continue his kidnapping job.“I was arrested in Onitsha market by the men of SARS and I have confessed to them about my involvement in kidnapping,” he said.
Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Ballah Nasarawa told Sunday Sun that the suspect had been declared wanted by Anambra State Police Command before he was eventually arrested on September 2, 2013 in Onitsha.
The police commissioner said Okafor was the same suspect that the Delta State Police Command declared wanted after he escaping from the cell through the toilet in 2013.
He stated that the suspect had kept several victims he kidnapped in the church in which he was a member and which he used as a hideout.
CP Nasarawa added that, besides the kidnap instances that Okafor gave, the suspect was also behind the abduction of the Chairman of Association of Electronics Dealers in Nnewi and collected N30 million that he shared among his gang members and released the victim from the church in which he was kept.
Also commenting about Okafor, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ikechukwu Aduba told Sunday Sun that the notorious kidnapper had with his gang kidnapped one Chief John Uchachuwu in Asaba and they demanded N5 million as ransom and the police played along as they negotiated ransom payment. He was told to come and collect the money in Asaba. It was in the process of collecting the ransom that he was arrested.
“Also we had to rescue the victim, Chief Uchachuwu while the suspect, Okafor came to Asaba to collect the ransom of N5million. What shocked me was that the notorious kidnapper, Okafor escaped from the cell in our custody despite the fact that he has injury on his legs. The policemen involved were one ASP, one Inspector and one Corporal. I had to detain them in my custody.
“I have written to my AIG in charge of Zone 5, Benin who appreciated that action had been taken. They will definitely face the music. How can a notorious kidnapper escape from their custody?” he queried.
CP Aduba added that later the information got to him that the SARS in Anambra had re-arrested the kidnapper and I sent my officers to Anambra State Police Command and they saw him.
“There was a time we traced Okafor to Niger Republic and Ghana and he escaped. We couldn’t take over the case from Anambra State Police Command because he did a lot more of kidnapping in Anambra State than Delta State and he has more questions to answer in Anambra State Police Command and they should continue their investigation,” he stated.
The Anambra police boss assured that the suspect would soon be charged to court after investigation had been concluded.