Ebonyi court remands nine for alleged kidnapping

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An Ebonyi State Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Abakaliki, on Wednesday, remanded a 25-year-old man, Anthony Chinedu, and eight others in a correctional facility for their alleged involvement in kidnapping.

It was gathered that the accused persons and others now at large committed the offences on Monday, October 28, 2019, at the Ukwuagba-Ngbo community in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state.

The suspects and their accomplices were alleged to have kidnapped a 65-year-old man, Ogbonna Elechi, and collected the sum of N30,000 from him as ransom.

The suspects were arraigned on two counts of kidnapping and conspiracy.

The police prosecutor, Eze Ndubuaku, told the court that the offences were punishable under sections 516A (a) and 4 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code, Cap 33 Vol. 1; and Cap 55 Vol. 2, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

The charges read, “That you, Anthony Chinedu, Egba Abraham, Ominyi Michael, Ede Egba, Eze Daniel, Oroke Stephen, Ali Chukwuemeka, Ndubuisi Igboke, Ogwudu Joshua and others now at large, on October 28, 2019, at Ukwuagba Ngbo, in the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did conspire amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; kidnapping, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 516A (a) of the Criminal Code Cap 33, Vol. 1, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.

“That you, Anthony Chinedu, Egba Abraham, Ominyi Michael, Ede Egba, Eze Daniel, Oroke Stephen, Ali Chukwuemeka, Ndubuisi Igboke, Ogwudu Joshua and others now at large on the same date and place in the aforementioned magisterial district did unlawfully kidnap one Ogbonna Irem Elechi and collected the sum of N30,000 as ransom, thereby committing an offence contrary to Section 4(1)(a) and punishable under Section 4 (2) of the Ebonyi State Internal Security Enforcement and other related matters Laws, Cap 55, Vol. 2, Laws of Ebonyi State of Nigeria, 2009.”

The magistrate, Nnenna Onuoha, directed that the accused persons be remanded in the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Abakaliki, and their case file transferred to the Director of Public Prosecutions in the state for advice.

The matter was adjourned till November 21 for report of compliance.

Meanwhile, the Ebonyi State Police Command, on Wednesday, said it had rescued four kidnap victims in the state.

Speaking to journalists in Abakaliki, the Commissioner of Police, Tunde Awotinde, said three of the victims, Peter Ekpe, 54; Chibuzo Ozoko Ekpe, 44; and Oliver Onwe, were indigenes of the Ngbo community, in the Ohaukwu Local Government Area of the state, while Ogbonna Elechi, 65, hails from Afikpo North Local Government Area of the state.

The CP, who said the victims were rescued on Tuesday night by men of the Nigeria Police Force attached to the command, maintained that his men were on the ground to check the activities of lawbreakers in the state.

He stated, “Even though Ebonyi State has been adjudged the safest state in the country under my watch, we are losing sleep over the fact that that we need to provide security day and night to the people.

“This is what we have been doing and in this coming festive season, we have mapped out strategies to ensure that lives and property of citizens are safeguarded. This is what we are out to achieve all day and night.”

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