Soldier, Three Brothers Arrested for Alleged Kidnapping in Delta


By Sylvester Idowu

A soldier and three brothers were last weekend arrested for their alleged involvement in kidnapping in Ughelli, Delta State.

The soldier, identified as Private Miracle Johnson, was arrested last weekend along with Godwin Okpara, Mathew Okpara, and Pius Okpara, all siblings from the same parents, and indigenes of Igbuku-Orogun community in Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.

THISDAY learnt that the suspects were apprehended at Agbarha-Otor community in Ughelli North LGA by operatives of Operation Delta Hawk, a joint security team put in place by the government to curtail violent crimes in the state.

Security sources disclosed that the suspects were apprehended while on a mission to collect a ransom from one of their victims, Mrs. Tina Etameta, a mother of three.

Mrs. Etameta was allegedly kidnapped by the suspects on January 4, 2021, at Agbarha-Otor junction, and an undisclosed amount of money was paid as ransom to secure her release.

“After the release of our sister and mother, one of her kidnappers was sending her messages that she should be paying him N200, 000 monthly, else she would be killed next time,” family source disclosed.

It was gathered that it was in the course of picking the monthly ransom that one of them was apprehended, who in turn helped security agents to arrest his accomplices.

The arrested soldier, aside supplying the group with arms and ammunition, was also alleged to have participated in the kidnapping.

The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Onome Onowakpoyeya, could not be reached for comment, as she did not answer her phone calls.

However, a senior security officer confirmed the arrest, saying: “One army private, Miracle Johnson, deployed from 22 Brigade in Ilorin, Kwara State, but currently on attachment at 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor, was also arrested.

“He supplied the ammunition for the operation and also participated in the kidnapping, and he is currently with the Military Police undergoing interrogation at 3 Battalion in Warri, he will be transferred to Asaba soon.”