Harvest of criminals in Anambra, rapists, traffickers, robbery syndicates, others nabbed
By Lawrence Nwimo
A total of 16 suspects were, on Saturday, paraded at the Anambra state Police Headquarters, Amawbia. They allegedly committed various offences in the state ranging from child stealing, child trafficking, armed robbery, murder and other sundry offences.
The suspects were arrested at various points all over the state by the police operatives.
The Anambra state police public relations officer in the state, CSP Haruna Mohammed, while parading the suspects, said the command arrested a syndicate who specialises in child stealing, child trafficking and baby factory.
He disclosed that police operatives attached to the Ihiala police division, last week, arrested two suspects who, according to him, allegedly stole a small boy and took him to Imo state to sell.
The PPRO said following intensive investigation, the suspects were arrested while the stolen baby was recovered. He said further investigations led to the arrest of other suspects involved in the illegal business.
The police spokesman maintained that among the four suspects, three were underaged ranging from 10, 13 and 15 years of age while the principal suspect was aged 19. The police spokesman said that the young suspects were used to lure their victims using biscuits, sweets and other things that tickled the fancy of children either in the market, schools, and even in the church.
He stated that as soon as the suspects cornered their victims in secluded areas, the victims are carried to where they are finally disposed. He informed that the last child that was kidnapped in Ihiala was rescued in Imo state.
Haruna said that when investigation was intensified, the suspects revealed that some of their victims (children) are usually sold to a woman named Uju Ubah in Anambra state hiding under the proprietress of an orphanage home in order to lure underage girls to deliver babies which she disbursed to her willing customers.
He alleged that the woman built a connection through which she bought children that are stolen from the child stealing syndicate in Ihiala at the price of N100-500 thousand naira depending on the gender of their victim.
Mr. Haruna said that the police after arresting the suspect, went to her house and rescued some pregnant teens as well as her workers even newly born children which he confirmed are now in the custody of state ministry of children and women affairs.
Haruna further disclosed that the suspect who is the owner of the orphanage home was recently arrested by the Imo state police command where five children was recovered from her in ratio of similar offence which she was charged to court and was granted bail.
Haruna also reported that on January 19, some syndicates riding on motorcycles and armed with a foreign-made beretta pistol, was nabbed after they robbed a POS operator at Oba, Idemili in Anambra state. The police spokesman said in the process of their operation, shot a customer at the POS point on the leg.
He said an alarm was raised that attracted the attention of mobile policemen in the area who responded with the help of good Samaritans and local vigilante of the area resulting in the arrest of one of the suspects while the other was lynched to death by the angry mob. He disclosed that the syndicate came from Imo state to perpetrate the act in Anambra state.
In another arrest by the command was a syndicate which specialises in snatching shuttle bus in Onitsha. According to the police spokesman, luck ran out on one of the gang members when he went to the bridgehead with his accomplices to snatch a shuttle bus from a driver who raised an alarm leading to the arrest of one of them while the shuttle bus was recovered.
Haruna also confirmed the arrest of another suspect whose name was not captured by our reporter and who specialises in snatching hand bags and handset from women in Eke Awka axis, Awka. Haruna said the suspect met his doom as he was caught in one of his operations and is currently cooling his head in the police custody.
Also arrested was a 68-year-old man, Linus Onuzuluike, from Abagana, nabbed by the command for allegedly defiling a seven-year-old girl while a 24-year-old man was also arrested for defiling a 16-year-old girl. Among those on parade was the arrest of Chukwuemeka Obijofa aged 28 who allegedly killed his wife, Chisom and 4-year-old son, Amanda, after attacking them with a shovel in Ofufe Nza village in Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra state.
Confessing to the crime, Chukwuemeka Obijofa explained that he killed the wife and son over infidelity.
He said the wife had confessed to him that the only son they had was not from him, adding that his anger grew the day he returned home to see her with two strange men.
He said, “I opened my eyes in the police station and found out that I’m responsible for killing my wife and my son. I killed her out of anger after I found out that she’s been cheating on me for long. I didn’t believe it because of the level of love and trust I had for her.
“I came back from work and found out that the food they have was not enough for them. I stepped out to collect money from a client so I can get something for them.
“But when I came back later, I discovered she wasn’t alone at home. She was with two men that I don’t know. When I tried to enquire who they were, she asked me to keep quiet that she would explain later. She later took me to the room for explanations.
“Before I could come out, the guys had left without informing us. I became angrier. My wife was trying to calm me down but I couldn’t bear it due to the level of love and trust I had for her.”
The suspect, a carpenter, who claimed to have lived peacefully with the late wife for five years of marriage, said the Indian hemp he took shortly after to pacify his anger, rather exacerbated it.
“As I was about to leave, I told her that I was leaving the house for her and her boyfriends who she preferred and was more comfortable with.
“I went straight to where I took some hemp to calm myself and feel relieved. But unexpectedly, I found out that the hemp even made it worse such that I lost my conscience. I couldn’t behave like a human being again.
“It became obvious to me that another demon or extraordinary spirit had possessed me. Besides, nobody was around to control me. I didn’t know what else that happened till I opened my eyes,” he added.
Expressing remorse over his actions, Obijofa who claimed to be an ordained evangelist, said he was warned by his pastor against the consequences of such vices, just as he warned youths to steer clear of contraband products, especially hard drugs.
“I was ordained in 2012 as an evangelist. If I pray, it comes to pass. But when I began to fall out from God’s mercy, my pastor warned me that a day was coming when I’d face the consequences. He said his God didn’t want me to pay the supreme price.
“But I couldn’t believe it until today I’m giving this message to those it has not happened to. Please, whatever government declared contraband, especially hard drugs, just steer clear from them. It has a way of imparting another spirit into you,” he added.
Also, while being interrogated, the alleged child trafficker, Mrs. Uju Ubah, aged 42 from Nanka in Orumba North local government denied involvement in child trafficking business nor being a member of any child kidnapping gang.
“I own a registered motherless baby home with name Nourish Compassionate Orphanage Home. My landlord gave me quit notice because I was owing him half a million naira as at December last year. At a point, he led the police and kicked all of us out of his house then from the police station, I was later transferred to the headquarters Amawbia.
“I have never bought any child from anybody. Personally, I do not have any business with the people stealing children. Some of the staff under me are married; some live with me while some live with their husbands and report to work daily.
The rape suspect, Linus Onuzuluike claimed that the defilement allegation levelled against him was false, claiming that the said victim was the daughter of his blood sister whom he said he could not even marry.
The suspect claimed that the allegation was muddled up due to some family quarrel and issues he was having with the alleged victims’ mother.
“I’m from Ohaofia Abagana in Njikoka local government area. Mrs. Benedeth Uchenna, claimed that I raped her daughter which I did not. Benedeth Uchenna was my blood sister. Her mother, named Mgbeke, was from my kindred before she was married in Umudioka village.
“She came to my house begging for shelter and I gave her a room to live in; later on, she, because we were having issues, went and told the public that I raped her seven-year-old daughter on two occasions 16th and 17th of January.
“When I demanded that we go for test, she ran away with the daughter and later on another date brought doctored test result from nowhere and presented to the police.
The police spokesman warned criminals in the state that Anambra state remains the safest state in the country. He maintained that police in the state will not relent in their effort to make sure that residents in the state sleep with their eyes closed.