Bassey Inyang in Calabar
A team of the Nigerian Police have arrested three suspected kidnappers, all believed to be university graduates, in a storey building at Etta Agbor Street in heart of Calabar, Cross River State.
The police said during the raid of the suspects’ hideout, a woman who was kidnapped the previous night was rescued, while about four other suspected members of the kidnapping gang escaped.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nkereuwem Akpan, who led the raid of the suspects den, paraded those caught before journalists in Calabar yesterday.
Addressing journalists at the headquarters of the state Police Command at Diamond Hill, where the suspected kidnappers were paraded, the commissioner said their den was raided based on very credible intelligence about what the building was used for.
He said one of the reports indicated that the suspects kidnapped a female university student the previous day and raped her, before releasing her.
The commissioner said, “The police stormed the building and fortunately a businesswoman who was kidnapped 24 hours earlier was rescued in a corner of the premises with her hands and legs tied.”
The commissioner said about four of the suspected gang members escaped during the raid on the building.
He said the police would soon apprehend the fleeing suspects based on intelligence so far gathered about them.
The police boss urged the people of the state to be rest assured of their safety as the police worked round the clock to smoke out criminals from the state.
Recounting her encounter with the suspects, the rescued woman, who gave her name as Mrs. Grace Adams said: “Yesterday, on my way from work, my husband picked me in his car, as we entered the gate, they came in and just picked me and took me out of my compound in my husband’s car….
“We stay at 46 Joseph Ekpang at Ikot Ansa. They did not beat me. They just tied me up and they demanded that my husband should pay N30 million. They picked me yesterday around 7.15p.m.This morning, I started hearing gunshots inside the building. I was so scared.
I thought they have come to finish me. I discovered that it was the Nigeria Police; the anti-cultism and anti -Kidnapping team that stormed the building. One of them saw me where they tied me and kept, in one small place, and he asked me what I was doing there. I told him I was kidnapped yesterday in the night; that was how he brought me out of the place. They brought me here and called my husband to come, and my daughter.”
Expressing gratitude to the Nigerian police for rescuing her, Mrs. Adams said: “I have never known the Nigerian Police can work so efficiently, and effectively. May God Almighty continue to bless them and protect them in the work they are doing.”
One of the arrested suspects who mentioned his name as Aruk Iso, a university graduate, told journalists that he was part of the gang that kidnapped Mrs. Adams.
Iso said he was a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH).
Explaining why he took to kidnapping, Iso said, “I needed money to do my clearance in school, and I decided to join my friends. I am not the leader of the group.
The leader is UB – Ubong. He succeeded to escape, and put me into this trouble”.
Another member of the gang, Abasi-Ima Edet Akpan, who was arrested during the raid by the police said though they belong to the same cult group with the alleged gang leader, he didn’t participate in kidnapping the woman.
“I only went to the building to sleep over. I do laundry business. When I got to the building, I saw the woman tied to a corner, and I was told she was their recent job. I pitied the woman, and even assured her they will not manhandle her.”
The suspect said they were all university graduates.