During his parade alongside sixteen other suspects in Ebonyi State, a trader, whose name was given as Njoku Michael, recounted how a bandit enticed him into participating in the kidnapping of some returnees from the United States of America, during the last Christmas and New Year celebrations.
It was reported that the revelation came to light when he was paraded by Joshua Akandu, who happens to be the spokesman of the Ebonyi State Police Command, at the state headquarters in Abakaliki, the state capital.
According to Vanguard, it was reported that Michael, confirmed that they received a ransom of N40 million, consisting of both naira and dollars, for the kidnapping.
Michael, who is from Abia State, said: “We were four persons who carried out the kidnap but it was only two of us who were captured by the police and we do not know where the others are. We did not kill anybody, the lady who died was out of fear, we did not shoot anybody.”
Further talking, he said that the man who involved him, is a Fulani man, and he is his very good customer. He claimed he buys things from him at his shop where he sold provisions before he was lured into the illegal business
In an interview, Njoku Michael from Abia State, one of the kidnappers of the American returnees, narrated how they carried out the crime, adding that they collected N40 million ransom before freeing the victims.
He said, “We were four persons that carried out the kidnap, but it was only two of us that were captured by the police and we don’t know where the others are. We didn’t kill anybody, the lady that died died out of fear; we didn’t shoot anybody. The person that involved me in the kidnap of these persons we kidnapped in Ebonyi didn’t disclose it to me. The man that involved me is a Fulani man, he is my customer. He buys things from me in my shop where I sell provision
“The man came to my shop on 13th December, 2023 with his cattle. I told him, ‘Alhaji, you have many cows now o.’ He told me, yes, the cows are mine. I pleaded with him to borrow me N50,000 and promised to pay him back in February this year. He told me that he has no money and promised to get back to me.
“Five days later, the man came back to me; he didn’t come back with his cattle this time around. He told me that he wants to carry me to work in Afikpo, Ebonyi State and I have never been to Afikpo before. I asked him the type of work he wants to carry me to do and he told me its manure work, that he wants me to bag it and if I work hard, I will earn N30,000 or N40,000 in four days. I said okay and called my brother to be taking care of my shop so that I will follow the Alhaji and go for that work.
“I followed the man to Afikpo and we got to Afikpo on that New Year in the evening. He bought me food and lodged me in one hotel. In the morning, he stopped bike and told me to join him in the bike and he took me to a thick forest and told me he was coming back. He went and brought two of his brothers and kept them with me. He didn’t tell me what we want to do and it was evening period.
“He left us and came back with a bag. When he turned it on the ground, it was a gun and a cloth.
think you said you are looking for money, this is the time we are going to look for the money.’
He prepared himself and told us to follow; we got to a bush path where he ordered us to stay in a corner in that bush path.
“When we were in the bush, he saw a jeep coming and shot in the air. The vehicle stopped and he attacked the vehicle and opened it. There were two men and one woman and he ordered
the two men and the woman out on the ground and told them to follow us. He was at the front directing us and we followed him to a thick forest. We trekked for two hours before we got to the thick forest.”
Njoku said he got $300 dollars from the N40 million ransom and that the ransom was both in dollars and naira.