• Respite for Abia couple as police rescue 3 kidnapped siblings

    Respite for abia couple as police rescue 3 kidnapped siblings - nigeria newspapers online
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    Rev sister, others in soup for selling stolen kids for N4m


    From Okey Sampson, Umuahia

    On May 10, three kids of the same parents, Gideon, 8, Divine, 6, and Israel, 4, were kidnapped from the home of their grandmother at Amoba village in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, by a commercial okada rider and taken to an unknown destination. This left the parents of the kids, Mr. and Mrs. Eluwa Osinachi and relations in great despair. The kids were reported to have gone to school on that fateful day and on their way back, decided to visit their grandmother. After a brief stay, the old woman was said to have hired an okada rider to take her grandchildren home, but instead, the young man eloped with the kids.

    Respite for abia couple as police rescue 3 kidnapped siblings - nigeria newspapers onlineRespite for abia couple as police rescue 3 kidnapped siblings - nigeria newspapers online

    Manhunt for okada rider

    Following the development, the state governor, Dr Alex Otti gave marching orders to the Mayor of Ikwuano Local Government Area, Osinachi Nwaka and security agents in the state to fish out the fleeing motorcycle rider and rescue the children. Governor Otti was very emphatic on the rescue of the children and he assured their parents so.

    “When the governor called the family and assured them the children would be rescued,” said Nwaka, “he also gave us the marching orders that we should use all available means to get them. When your boss gives you an assignment, you will have no option than to step into action. The one that touched me most was when I remembered that innocent boy of four years,”

    Rescue operation

    Buoyed by the governor’s directive, the Mayor of Ikwuano and some security operatives moved into action. The LGA boss spoke further: “After the kids were kidnapped on May 10, I called a security meeting of the police, DSS and army and traditional rulers. I also called all the motorcycle operators in the area, and I gave them 72 hours for them to come up with information that will lead to arrest of the fleeing okada rider.

    “The following week, we got information that the first one that was rescued was at Ekwulobia, in Anambra State. I reported this to the Commissioner of Police and the Governor’s CSO and other security outfits. Then the Abia police gave me three policemen to go to Ekwulobia, and we were able to rescue the first one. From there, we started getting details of where the remaining ones were.”

    Divine Osinachi, 6, was rescued on May 21 at Ekwulobia. On May 23, his brother was found at Nkpor, also in Anambra State. Nwaka explained further: “On June 13, the police discovered that the last boy had been moved from Awka in Anambra to Warri, Delta State and they got the boy from there.”

    Cartel of human merchants

    The LGA Mayor disclosed that the boys were sold off immediately they were taken out of Umuahia. “The first one was sold for N1.8m, the second one for N2.2m or N2.5m; the last one that was rescued, I have not confirmed how much he was sold for.

    “There was a cartel that was involved in the kidnap and selling of the children. According to police investigation, they buy the kids for three reasons, organ harvesting, for adoption or they buy for ritualists, but we were fortunate that the three kids did not enter into the wrong hands or they had not finalized what they wanted to do with them,” he said.

    Reverend Sister from hell

    Over five people have been arrested and they are still at the state CID undergoing interrogation. Two or three more people are on the run according to available information.

    A statement from the police indicated that those arrested include a Reverend Sister, Pauline Alozie, Chizoba DJ, Glory Umuna, and Georgina Nonye Okoye, all females, as well as a man, Philip Ibe.  It was gathered that the reverend sister was involved in the purchase of the second boy. She claimed that she bought the boy from some of her church members. She was arrested at Nkpor, Anambra State. She is the middle person that distributes the children and collects her cut. She was wearing her white habit when she was arrested.”

    “The state CID did a very thorough work at tracking, to locate everybody that were involved”, Nwaka revealed. He expressed deep gratitude to Abia State Governor, the state Commissioner of Police and heads of security agencies in the state for their resilience and support in ensuring that the children were safely returned to the State and reunited with their family. He expressed appreciation to God for making the rescue efforts successful.

    Governor receives kids

    The rescued kids were presented to Governor Otti on Saturday, June 15. Receiving the children alongside their parents and other well wishers, the governor thanked God and all those who worked hard to ensure their release.

    While expressing joy that the children have finally been reunited with their parents, Dr Otti admonished parents to be more careful about the safety and security of their children.

    Said he: “First of all, you should not hand over your children to people you do not know, be they Keke or Okada riders. There is nothing you’re doing that is more important than looking after your children. That is my word to parents, grandparents and everybody who has something to do with one Abia child or another.”

    Otti enjoined security operatives who took part in the rescue operations to ensure that everyone involved in the abduction is prosecuted to serve as deterrent to others. The Governor left a word for criminals in the state: “I have sent the criminals notice that this place cannot contain themselves and us; one person must run away. And unfortunately I’m not the one that would run, because I have the mandate of the people and I have the mandate of God. So it’s the evil ones that would run away, even to start running before somebody starts pursuing them and that is what we are seeing.”

    Otti pledged that the state government would support the rescued children in the best way necessary and recommended that communities go back to the positive culture of seeing all children as their own.

    Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Commander MacDonald Uba (Rtd) who earlier had lauded the optimism of the governor, said this gingered the Mayor and others who participated in the operation.

    While presenting the rescued children, their parents and others to the Governor, the member representing Ikwuano State Constituency, Honorable Boniface Isienyi said the rescue operation was not an easy task, saying it was God’s grace that made it possible.

    He disclosed that he would be proposing a bill in the House of Assembly that would make it mandatory for anyone who wants to run a motherless babies home to be registered with the state Ministry of Women Affairs to make their existence legal and for them to be checkmated.

    Abia command gives self, others thumbs up

    Abia command of the Nigerian police has given itself thumbs up over the rescue of the kids. A statement by the command’s PPRO, Maureen Chinaka read, “We are happy to announce that all the three children have been rescued and reunited with their family.  On May 21, Obioma Divine Osinachi was  rescued at Ekwulobia in Anambra State, Gideon Osinachi was rescued at Nkpor in Anambra State on May 23.The last of the three, Israel Osinachi was rescued at Warri in Delta State on June 13.

    “Investigation and efforts to rescue the children lasted from May 10, to June 13. During this period, four female suspects and one male suspect were arrested in connection with the crime. The suspects were arrested variously at Amawbia and Nkpor in Anambra State, as well as Warri in Delta State. They include, Reverend Sister Pauline Alozie, Chizoba DJ, Glory Umuna, Mrs. Georgina Nonye Okoye, and Philip Ibe. They are in custody and will be charged to court very soon.”

    The police lauded the collaboration of other stakeholders, including the Mayor of Ikwuano LGA, Mr. Nwaka, and Abia State Homeland Security, amongst others, for the roles they played towards the rescue of the children.”


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