By Rebecca Ejifoma
The Lagos State Police Command has nabbed a notorious kidnapper, Austine Ebimiyenwei, 27, and one of his gang members, Festus Abama, who died during exchange of fire while two escaped with bullet wounds at Agbowa Ikorodu area of the state.
The anti-kidnapping squad of the command, acting on the directive of the state Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, on November 23 this year smashed a kidnappers’ syndicate at Agbowa, Ikorodu.
According to the state Spokesman, CSP Chike Oti, this led to the arrest of Ebimiyenwei, a native of Arogbo Azapa community of Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo state, and the recovery of corpse of one Abama.
“The command had earlier on November 13 and 16 this year received two separate reports from one Suleiman Eniola Ajumobi and one Veronica Ewuru about the kidnapping of their daughter and their husband respectively,” he said.
Oti added that while Ajumobi reported that his daughter, 7, was kidnapped from his house in his presence, Ewuru said her husband, DSP Patrick Ewuru, a police officer attached to Force Headquarters annex at Obalende, Lagos, was kidnapped from their house at night when he went to check on the power generating set which suddenly stopped working.
According to him, “The kidnappers demanded a ransom of N25 million from Ajumobi and N10 million from the family of Ewuru but later settled for N500, 000 for both families.”
At this point, the CP directed operatives handling the matter to play along with the kidnappers in the interest of the victims, who were still in captivity.
As soon as the releases of the two victims were secured, Oti continued that the kidnappers’ hideout at Agbowa was busted and the aforementioned kidnapper was killed in the ensuing gun battle, while Ebimiyenwei surrendered.
The suspect, however, confessed to the crime.
Oti said: “The victims have identified both the deceased and Ebimiyenwei as those who kidnapped them. Concerted effort is being made to arrest those on the run while the suspect already in police custody will be charged to court.
“It is the hope of the CP that criminals would take a look at the crime busting record of the command and see the futility of plying their trade in the state.”