The anti-kidnapping unit of the Imo State Police Command has busted a kidnapping gang, in the process rescued a Catholic priest, Rev. Father Charles Nwachwukwu.
Three gang members were arrested
Father Nwachwukwu was abducted by some gunmen recently.
The police said on Tuesday that the priest was abducted by the kidnappers on June 16, 2017, at Amauzari in the Isiala Mbano LGA of the state at about 8pm.
Confirming the incidents to newsmen, the state Commissioner of Police, Chris Ezike, said the victim was rescued in an Agbaja forest in the Nwangele LGA of the state on Saturday.
Agbaja is where the late kidnap kingpin, Henry Chibueze, popularly known as Vampire, who was freed by his gang members in January at the premises of Imo High Court, Owerri; hid before he was finally mowed down during a gun duel with the police in Rivers State in February.
The Police boss said that three suspects in the kidnap case of the Catholic priest were arrested by his men.
He gave the names of the alleged kidnappers as Ogadinma Ajonuwma, Chinedu Odoemenam and Uzoma Mejuru.
Ezike said, “Rev Father Charles Nwachukwu has been rescued unhurt. He was rescued on Saturday in a forest in Agbaja in the Nwangele Local Government Area of Imo State.
“Three of the kidnappers were nabbed immediately”.
He said that the Toyota jeep, golden colour with registration number, WER 334 NJ belonging to the Catholic Church priest was also recovered by the police.
The Commissioner stated that the priest had identified the suspects as his abductors, to which the suspects had also made confessional statements.
“The victim has identified the three suspects. They have also made confessional statements to us. Investigations are ongoing.
“We will charge them to court. We will not rest on our oars until all the bad elements are flushed out of the state.
“Imo people have a right to enjoy our protection and that is what we are offering them,” Ezike said.
The priest said his abductors had demanded N100m ransom for his release.
He said the suspects forcefully obtained the code of his ATM card and withdrew about a half a million Naira from one of his accounts.
One of the suspects, Odoemenam, who confessed to the kidnap, said he was also involved in car snatching and other criminal activities.