Operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Imo State have arrested one of the kidnappers that abducted two entertainers, Ugo Stevenson and Izunna Obiakor in Owerri .
Stevenson, a 2008 winner of Nigeria Music Awards, is a popular high life musician, writer and public commentator, while Izunna Obiakor is the chief executive officer of Twinstar Lightening and Stage House in Owerri.
It was learnt that N1m was paid as ransom for their release after spending five nights in the kidnapper’s den.
A 2007 Toyota Highlander Sports Utility Vehicle belonging to one of the entertainers was not recovered, Southern City News gathered.
A police source told our correspondent on Tuesday that the nabbed suspect and his fleeing gang members re-established contact with their victims demanding additional N300, 000 before his SUV could be released to them.
The source said, “The kidnappers re-opened communication with their victim and made a demand of N300,000 as the amount to pay to enable them release the SUV to him .
“The operatives of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, led by its Commander, Godfrey Victor, cashed in on that. The kidnap victims were asked to play along.
“ It was in the process of receiving another ransom of N300, 000, after collecting N1 m earlier, that this suspect , Sunday Okoli, aged 35, who hails from Amokohia Ubi in the Owerri West Local Government Area of Imo State, was nabbed . Unfortunately, others escaped .”
The source said the arrest of the suspect while collecting the ransom was key to eradicating kidnapping and criminality in the state.
“He was arrested in the act. He can’t deny it. It is good for us. He has made confessional statement admitting to the crime. His revelation is very instrumental to our work and subsequent breakthroughs,” he said.
During an interview, Okoli told Southern City News that he was given N100, 000 as his share from the ransom collected from the entertainers.
“My name is Sunday Okoli ; I am from Amokohia Ubi in the Owerri West LGA. I recently came back from Lagos and this is the first time I joined them to this operation.
“I got a share of N100,000 from N600,000 that was paid . I did not follow them to the hideout. The hideout is at Awara in Ohaji/ Egbema LGA though I have not been there before. That is where the jeep is,” he said.
The state Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galandanchi, who confirmed the arrest, said that his command was committed to fighting crime in the state.