Wicked Kidnappers fled to Niger republic with Ogun School girl (Photo)

January 27, 2015 11:58 am

A Niger Republic-based kidnapping syndicate has demanded the payment of
$100, 000 as ransom for the release of its 15-year-old victim, Precious
Okoro.

The victim’s father, Nwaigwe, explained that Precious was kidnapped
around Songotedo, in the Ajah area of Lagos State, where she had boarded
a commercial vehicle en route to her school in Ikenne, Ogun State.

He said he never knew his daughter had been abducted until two weeks
later when the school management contacted him to say Precious had not
reported in school.

He explained that he reported the matter to the police at the Ajah Police Division, where he was asked to exercise patience. He said the cops initially thought she fled to a boyfriend’s house.

Nwaigwe, a trader, said he was later contacted by the kidnappers, who
informed him that his daughter was in Niamey, the Niger Republic
capital.He said,

“My daughter, who was on holiday, was returning to her school in Ikenne
Communty College, Ikene, Ogun State. On Sunday, May 25, 2014, she
boarded a bus at the motor park in my presence and I bid her farewell.
I thought she was already in school until the principal called me and
said the school was about writing exams and nobody knew her
whereabouts.“I quickly informed the police at Ajah, and the Divisional
Police Officer told me to be calm and wait because it was possible she
went to a boyfriend’s house and they probably wanted to fleece me. 

One fateful morning in August, I saw an international line and the
kidnappers said they were calling from Niamey in the Niger Republic,
adding that if I wanted to see my daughter alive, I should pay them
$100,000.”

The Ohaozara, Ebonyi State indigene said he did not take the callers
serious, until he heard the distressed voice of his daughter, who told
him they were indeed in Niger Republic and that the bus she boarded that
day was owned by the kidnappers.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim’s father began to receive repeated
calls from the kidnappers, who later asked him to deposit an initial sum
of $30,000.

He said,

“I told them to send me an account number, and they sent an Ecobank
account number belonging to one Nwachukwu Daniel. I did not have the
money they requested and I contacted the police for help, but I was
asked to still exercise patience.After some weeks, they called again and
I asked for another account number. They sent a Diamond Bank account
number.They were using different international lines to call. They used
about 15 different numbers to call us,” he added.

PUNCH Metro learnt that the police later decided to use a decoy to get some of the kidnappers arrested.

A police source said one of the female officers disguised as a
girlfriend of one of the kidnappers and called one of the international
lines.After a few weeks of telephone conversations, the kidnapper-lover
invited his lady to Niger Republic.

He said, 

“He sent someone to bring her and detectives trailed her and monitored
their calls. They were able to arrest a suspect, who, however, denied
knowing anything about the kidnapping, but said he sometimes overheard
the victim’s father conversing with the ‘lover’.”

The matter was said to have been transferred to the State Criminal
Investigation Department, Yaba, when there was no further breakthrough
in the case.Our correspondent gathered that the police decided to work
on the three account numbers sent to the victim’s family.

A source told PUNCH Metro that the numbers led the police to different states in the country.

He said, 

“It was discovered that one of the account numbers was opened at
Idumota, Lagos State, and when the police got there, they were told the
owner was in Niger Republic.“Another account number led the police to
Onitsha, Anambra State, and when they investigated, they discovered that
the owner had earlier been arrested by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad
in Onitsha and had been killed. The N200, 000 the victim’s father paid
into the account was stuck because the suspect did not collect it before
he died.”

Our correspondent was told that the police, however, arrested a sister
of the suspect living in Aba, Abia State, who had been collecting money
paid into a Diamond Bank account number opened in the state.
The girl was said to have admitted that the account belonged to her
brother, who was sending money into it and giving her instructions on
how the funds should be distributed among the family members.

A source said the girl had been arrested with two other suspects.The
victim’s father, Nwaigwe, said the matter had been referred to the
Federal Criminal Investigation Department, Alagbon, Lagos.
It was learnt that the police had not been able to do anything due to lack of funds.

“The police have gone far on this case and needed funds to get those
rogues arrested. There is still hope of getting the girl safe home,” a
source said.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Kenneth Nwosu, said he would call
back, but had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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