Some members of the six man robbery and kidnapping syndicate that kidnapped, robbed and attempted to murder a businessman in Ebonyi State, Mr Monday Udoka Oke, have recounted how the operation went down and why they tried to kill the businessman.
They spoke in Abakaliki after they were paraded by the Police in the state alongside other crime suspects recently arrested by the command for various crimes.
In an interview with journalists, Chinonso Desmond who led the group confessed to the crimes.
He said they shot and tried to kill Oke because one of them MD who is still at large suspected that the businessman who owns Monabliss hotel Abakaliki knows him and will identify him.
”It is my friend MD Mohammed that introduced me into kidnap of Monablis. It was in the night that they called me on phone in Enugu state and I came down to Abakaliki for the kidnap of the man. I was smoking with them, we discussed how to execute the kidnap,” he began.
On how the kidnapping was carried out Desmond has this to say: “We moved to the street where Monablis hotel is located. We were smoking and saw Monablis when he was coming out of his hotel and we followed him up.
“We blocked him with his car. After we blocked him, we took him to a place called Azugwu in Abakaliki and when we reached there the man gave us N150, 000. MD forced him to do mobile transfer for us to get more money from him and he did the transfer. He transferred to me N1.5million into my account. MD did not have account and he transferred money for MD also into my account, he transferred N1million for MD and it became N2.5million he transferred into my account for me and MD”
Desmond who confessed to being the one who shot the businessman said they took the decision to kill him so that he will not implicate them.
“After the transfer, MD said the man knows him very well. We took him (Monablis) to one River and I don’t know the name of the river but they called it Ebonyi river. The man was begging us, when he tried to escape, we shot him. I was the one that shot him, we were not sent by anyone to kidnap him”.
For Loveth Nnenna, a female student of the Ebonyi State University, she was introduced to the group by her boyfriend who was arrested on his way to into the state from Enugu with some guns.
“I was arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery. I was at home when Desmond and MD the one that ran away came to me at Azugwu where I was staying and told me to enter car and I entered. I didn’t know where we were going to but we landed in a bush and when we got to the bush, I saw two guys lying down. Within a short period of time, Desmond carried Monablis and came in. Then, they released the two guys that were lying down”
“Desmond told the Monablis ‘oga, let’s do business’ and he said no problem. He asked Monablis how much do you have in your account and he replied him. He told Monablis that he will transfer monies into our individual accounts and he agreed”.
“He sent N1.5 million into my own account and Desmond told me to give N500, 000 to one of us here, I should also give N500, 000 to the one that ran away and then leave the remaining N500, 000 in my own account. They kept two guys with me so that I will not run away from the area.
“They then carried Monablis into one bush where they shot him; I was not there when they shot him. When they came back, they started fighting themselves saying they didn’t shoot the man very well that he ran away. Desmond then ordered two guys to go into the river and find Monablis that the man is not dead,” she said.
She further narrated how she was initiated into the cult group by members of the gang.
“I am final student of Ebonyi state University department of Sociology. I know this group as cultists and I met them this semester. My boyfriend was once in police cell in Enugu and it was through him that I met Okechukwu one of us”.
“They told me that my boyfriend is coming from Enugu to shoot me because I reported the person that stole my cell phone, that he asked me not to report to the police and I reported to the police. On his way coming back with two guns, they arrested him. It was on that day that Monablis was kidnapped that I was initiated into cultism, it was the group that initiated me. I belong to bagger confraternity”.
Another suspect, Murtala Usman who was arrested for buying the necklace stolen from the businessman denied being involved in the kidnap.
“I don’t have any role in the kidnap. I am doing Bureau De change business and on Wednesday Morning I was in my shop when the gang leader with a young woman brought necklace to me to buy. The lady told me that she lost her mother and that they want to do her burial and that they need money for the burial”.
“After we finished doing the business and I gave them the money, two days later police came and arrested me. They asked me where the necklace was and that I should provide it for them and I did as they said. I bought the necklace at the rate of N600, 000,” he said.
Earlier, Police spokesman in the state, Loveth Odah said five out of the six members of the gang involved in the kidnap and attempted murder of top business mogul and owner of popular Monabliss hotel in Abakaliki, Monday Udoka Oke were arrested.
The spokesman said the six man gang led by Ikpuecha Chinonso Desmond first attacked one Ikwuobe Odeh Samuel at his residence, No 10 Ofor Street Abakaliki, kidnapped him and his friend in his Toyota Highlander Jeep with Reg No. MKD 421 TS and whisked him to a nearby bush at Azugwu Onuebonyi in Abakaliki on 21st of May.
“After robbing them of some cash and other valuables including phones and laptops, the gang blindfolded them and kept them hostage after which they proceeded with the said highlander jeep to kidnap Mr Oke,” she said
According to the police, one hour later at about 11 pm, the gang double crossed Mr Monday Oke as he left his Hotel, located at 95 Nnorom Street Abakaliki kidnapped him in his Honda car and took him to Onuebonyi River
Once there, they proceeded to rob him of a cash sum of N200, 000 in his possession and other valuables such as gold necklace, hand bangle, belt, ring, shoe, wrist watch, hand bag, iphpone8plus and Samsung galaxy edge plus phones.
Odah said the kidnappers then took his phone and transferred various large sums of money to their respective bank accounts which total amounted to N5.2m.
After robbing him, “Mr. Monday Udoka was shot and pushed into the river by the gang believing that he was dead while the first victims Mr Samuel and friend were released unhurt”
On receiving the news, Odah said the command immediately commenced intelligence led investigation which took its operatives to Enugu/Nsukka where five of the gang members were arrested.
She gave the names of the five arrested members as: Ikpuecha Chinonso Desmiond, 32 years, Uguru Okechukwu 22 years, Nnaemeka Nwinya, 32 yrs, Igwe Ekene 28 yrs and the only female member of the gang, Loveth Okpara Nnenna, 26 yrs.
The Police also paraded eight persons who allegedly killed one Anselem Omah at Onu-Orie Umuoghara Ezaangbo, Ohaukwu local government area on Tuesday.