By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA OPERATIVES of the Department of State Service (DSS) in Bayelsa State have arrested a 43 year old Prophet, Kingsley Jeremiah Amos and three others over alleged attempt to kidnap the Chairman of the Yenagoa Local Government, Hon. Uroupaye Nimizuoa.
Others arrested alongside the Prophet include 38 year old ICT expert Philip Anayo Okorie, an indigene of Akanu in Ohaffia Local Government Area of Abia State, 37 years old Spiritualist, Tari Erigi, from Okordia-Zarama community, Yenagoa Local Government Area and awoman, Nsikan Umoh Sunday age 35 from Akwa Ibom State.
Parading the suspects yesterday in Yenagoa, the DSS, alleged that sequel to the receipt of a petition on allege threat of kidnap of the Chairman of the Yenagoa Local Government Council, Uroupaye Nimizuoa, his mother and members of his family by an unknown mobile phone number, investigation led to the arrest of the four suspects.
The DSS Deputy Director of Operations, Femi Shotayo, said the arrested suspects were led by the ICT expert, Philip Okorie with his allege involvement in the illegal tracking of the GSM numbers for commercial purposes, ”and in connivance with his syndicate took advantage of his relationship with the victim and fraudulently initiated life threatening calls including threat to kidnap on the victims using unknown GSM numbers in a bid to extort the victim.
“Okorie was eventually arrested by operatives of the service in Abia State. And Amos, who paraded himself as a clergy and prophet before the victim, collaborated with his mistress/wife, one Nsikan Umoh Sunday, female, 35 years, and threatened to kidnap the victim.
“Findings further showed that the threat was aimed at compelling their victim to contract them for prayers in exchange for money. They were apprehended in Calabar and both have confessed to the crime.”
“Also arrested was a 37 year old Tari Erigi who is a spiritualist and allied of the Council Chairman who sent a threat of kidnap to the victim in order to extort money from the later.
“Meanwhile, all the suspects have voluntarily confessed to the crime under investigation, just as exhibits linking the suspects with the crime have been recovered.”
Confirming the incident, the Chairman of Yenagoa Local Government Area, Hon. Uroupaye Nimizuoa, said he was compelled to alert the security agencies over the alleged threat by the arrested suspects due to the March 5th, 2020 incident in which his mother, Madam Betty Nimizoua, was abducted by unidentified gunmen.
“While in court over the arrest of the key suspect in the kidnap of my mother, I started receiving threats of kidnap from unknown numbers and I reported to the security agencies.
“The key suspect, Philip, was shown to me as the person threatening me that if I don’t release the arrested kidnapper of my mother, they will kidnap me.
“Philip was also the same person brought to me by the Police to work with me as an independent phone tracker to track the phone lines.
“I had thanked the police for rescuing my mother and providing me with evidence to prosecute my mother’s kidnappers but little did I know that the independent tracker working with me was a kidnapper.
“The second suspect came to me and said he wanted to pray with me. And I opened my doors to him but he turned around to be sending life threatening messages,” he said.
One of the suspect, Philip Okorie, however denied the charges of attempted kidnap brought against him, saying he has a 12 years working relationship with the Nigerian Police as an independent Data/Phone calls analysts involved in locating kidnappers and their victims.
He said: “My calls to the Yenagoa Local Government Chairman was purely to collect the unpaid debt for my services during the rescue of his mother and arrest of the suspect.
“I sent text message to him from hidden numbers because he does not pick my calls and refused to pay monies owed me.”