Two suspects, who are currently held by the Enugu State Police Command over a kidnapping case, have revealed how members of a community vigilante group turned into kidnappers in the Uzo-Uwani area of Enugu State.
The two suspects, Thankgod Asogwa and Collins Chizoba, were arrested for the abduction of Mr. Enechi Ejiofor, the Special Assistant on Security Matters to the Transition Committee Chairman of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Ejiofor was kidnapped on December 13, 2016, at Ugwuiyi Ekoro, along Opanda/Adani road, while on his way to Nimbo community, also in the Uzo-Uwani area.
The kidnappers demanded the sum of N10m for Ejiofor’s release, but the ransom was eventually reduced to N2m.
However, about two months after the development, Ejiofor’s whereabouts was still unknown even after the payment of the N2m ransom.
In separate confessional statements to the police, the suspects revealed that Ejiofor’s abduction was masterminded by members of the vigilance group in Odah-Nimbo, a community in the Uzo-Uwani area.
Asogwa, who said he was an up and coming Nollywood actor, disclosed that Ejiofor was targeted after he (Ejiofor) informed herdsmen operating in the community that members of the vigilante group were responsible for the disappearance of their cattle in several robbery incidents in the community.
Following the decision to kidnap Ejiofor, Asogwa said the leaders of the vigilance group made him to swear an oath, after which he (Asogwa) was assigned the task of monitoring Ejiofor’s movement.
Asogwa said the leaders of the vigilance group threatened to kill him and members of his family, if he leaked the plan to kidnap Ejiofor to anybody.
According to him, he was able to monitor Ejiofor’s movement by constantly visiting a local bar, where Ejiofor sold drinks in the area.
Explaining further, he said, “I know Enechi Ejiofor very well, I do go to his bush bar at Opanda to relax. He is a member of National Union of Road Transport Workers and also Special Assistant on Security Matters to Transition Committee Chairman of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area.
“On that fateful day, December 13, 2016, I went out with one Chelsea, whose real name I don’t know. I know him as a strong member of the vigilance group. I went with Chelsea and others to kidnap Ejiofor. Chelsea had in his possession a pump action automatic gun.
“After we kidnapped Ejiofor, I was the one who collected the N2m ransom paid by Ejiofor’s relations. The ransom was kept in a bush near a shrine and I was directed by Ratty, Mmiri and Earthquake, who are leaders of the vigilance group, to go and collect the money and bring to them which I did.
“I am regretting my action because I did not report to the police or my father because I was scared of death due to the blood oath we took.
But Asogwa said he was not aware of Ejiofor’s whereabouts.
“I cannot say for sure where Ejiofor is at the moment but Ratty, Mmiri and Earthquake can explain where he is,” he said.
Spokesman, Enugu State Police Command, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, said the police was on the trail of other members of the now outlawed vigilante group, who are currently at large.
Asogwa and Chizoba are currently assisting the police in ongoing investigations into Ejiofor’s abduction, and would be charged to court soon, Amaraizu added.