A traditional ruler of Uba community in Awara, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, Eze Andrew Okuegbunuwa, has been arrested for allegedly organising kidnapping and armed robbery activities within and outside his community.

The traditional ruler was among suspected members of a kidnapping syndicate that included a native doctor paraded at the Imo State Police Command in Owerri, yesterday, Vanguard Newspaper reports.

Speaking during the parade, Imo State Police Commissioner, Isaac Akinmoyede, said: “On 28/7/2020 at about 04:00hrs at Umuokuzu Awara in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, operatives of Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS through painstaking and diligent investigation, arrested one Eze Andrew Okuegbunuwa, male, 59-year-old of Uba community in Awara community in Awara, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State in connection with kidnap and other armed robbery incidents.”

“Investigation further revealed that the arrested suspect, Andrew Okuegbunuwa, provided the operational vehicle, Lexus RX330 SUV with number plate: URM 404 EL, for the kidnappers.”

“Having lost the vehicle in the operation, Andrew was given N3,000,000 to replace his vehicle by the kidnappers. It was discovered that the vehicle was not recorded in the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC, database.”

“His arrest also led to the arrest of one Bernard Uzoma, a native doctor at Umunoha in Mbaitoli local government area, whose job is to provide the gang with protection from death and arrest. He was paid N200,000 as his own share from the loot.”

“A total sum of N4, 200,000 was recovered from the suspects out of the combined ransom of N7,500,000 paid for the release of two victims.”

When Vanguard spoke to Eze Okuegbunuwa, he said: “They collected my car and they did not tell me what they want to use it for. When they came, they said my car got lost and they gave me N3.5 million to replace my car. Let me state this, I have received money from them only four times.”

“I did not know that they used it for kidnapping and they only gave money for my car that got lost. I have only received money from them only four times.”

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