The assailants, after murdering their captive identified as Onyeka Oliver Ezewulu, buried him in a shallow grave near a stream in Mbiaso community in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of the state. The kidnappers murdered the victim despite receiving N2 million ransom from his family members.
Addressing newsmen at the scene, SP Odiko MacDon, the state spokesperson of the command, said the operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) Special Tactical Squad of the Command stormed the kidnappers’ den in Mbiaso community on Monday, March 29, and killed three of the hoodlums during a gun battle.
It was gathered that while attempting to escape from the heavily armed kidnappers who laid ambush close to his house along Idoro Road, Uyo, the businessman was shot on the leg on March 5, 2021.
The gang, thereafter, bundled the bleeding businessman into a white coloured Toyota Camry car and sped off.
According to the police, investigations showed that the victim who was not given any medical attention died as a result of the excessive loss of blood from the gunshot wounds.
After the death of the businessman, the kidnappers demanded a huge ransom from his family and the family paid N2 million to the gang on March 10.
MacDon said acting on a tip-off, the police team led by CSP Julian Igbodu launched a thorough investigation and later got a clue to the crime.
Speaking on the whereabouts of members of the deadly gang, MacDon explained that the kidnappers had resisted arrest, and engaged the police in a firefight before they succumbed to their superior firepower.
According to him, a middle-aged female suspect identified as Deborah Sunday, who was arrested assisted the police in locating the hoodlums’ hideout.
Speaking to journalists, the suspect said that three members of her gang abducted the businessman on March 5. She explained that the victim was shot in his right leg when he attempted to run, adding that he was bundled into a car and taken to their hideout.
Deborah confessed that she got her share of the N2 million ransom the gang collected from the family.
She, however, claimed that the N150,000 promised her from the ransom money, was still with the “DPO,” who is believed to be the leader of the gang.
He stated that the police had exhumed the remains of the deceased, conducted an onsite autopsy and handed the corpse to the family for burial.
Lamenting the unfortunate waste of Onyeka’s life, the police PPRO assured the public that the police will, at all times, ensure that criminals are made uncomfortable in the state.
The police spokesman also solicited the cooperation of members of the public in providing the police with useful information about crime and criminals.
A brother to the deceased, Patrick, said that Onyeka was on a visit to his family in Akwa Ibom when he was attacked and kidnapped.
“Unknown to us, the hoodlums had already killed Onyeka before we paid them the N2m on March 10, 2021. That was why after the payment was made to them, we waited for days to see him regain his freedom, all to no avail. We didn’t know he actually died a day after he was kidnapped. That was four days before we paid the ransom,” he said.