George Okoh in Makurdi
In continuation of the fight against crime in Benue State, the Benue Police Command in Makurdi yesterday paraded the leader of the kidnapping gang that specialises in killing and burying their victims in shallow graves.
The police also disclosed that it arrested 40 persons in connection with armed robbery and kidnap cases, recovered 23 arms, 17 live ammunition, 12 cartridges, and charged eight kidnap/robbery cases to court for investigation.
According to the Benue State Police Commissioner, Mukaddas Garba, the gang leader Iorwuese Ikpila and five others were arrested in Gbaste Ushongo when the police got information on the activities of the gang. He said, “Intelligence was gathered that a kidnap/robbery gang operates within Ushongo Local Government Area of Benue State. Upon receipt of this information a crack squad was deployed to the area for investigation. On 21/09/2019 at about 1630hrs, the gang leader, one Iorwuese Ikpila, and five other suspects all men of Mbagwaza council ward, Ushongo were arrested in connection with the case. During interrogation, the suspects confessed that they have been armed robbers operating within Zone A, Ukum, Kwande, Kastina-Ala and Ushongo Local Government Area who opted for kidnapping as a result of tight deployment of security operatives on the highways.
He said the gang kidnapped sixteen (16) persons, robbed them of their vehicles, motorcycles and other belongings, killed their victims, buried the corpses and planted cassava on the graves as a way of covering the crime.
According to him, further investigation led to the discovery of 16 shallow graves. Eleven corpses had been exhumed and identified by their family members. “A receiver of the properties stolen by the gang; one Shizoon Nyityo of Zaki-Biam has also been arrested. Items recovered from the suspects include; one locally made single barrel gun, a rope used by the gang members to strangulate their victims and assorted charms. Investigation is still in progress,” he stated.
While speaking to reporters, the suspect Mr. Ikpila confessed that he started the business of Kidnapping three months ago, adding that he and his gang members usually strangulate their victims to death.
He said it was the quest to get power that led him into the killing of his victims.
According to him a spirit known as Queen gives him directive to keep looking and bury his victims.