July 18, 2024

Bustan Daily

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Okada ban, lockdown led us into kidnapping — Abductors of Appeal Court judge’s wife

2 min read

Suspected kidnappers arrested for the abduction of Mrs
Ekwele Agube , wife of the Appeal Court judge in Cross
River State, have recounted the various roles they
played in the crime and how they shared a ransom of
N 6. 8 m paid for her release .
Agube , whose personal assistant , Glory Mpama, was
killed during the kidnap on July 4 , 2020 along Ministry
Road in Calabar, was released two weeks later .
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Although the Police Public Relations Officer in the
state , DSP Irene Ugbo , had said the woman was
released unconditionally , the suspects arrested by
operatives of the Inspector- General of Police
Intelligence Response Team , stated that they collected
N 6. 8 m ransom.
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City Round learnt that IRT detectives led by DCP Abba
Kyari apprehended six members of the gang recently
after one of the phone number used to negotiate the
ransom was traced to one Nsense Bassey aka Lion .

Other suspects are identified as Edet Ene, Christopher
Effaeyo , Etim Offiong , Bassy Effiong , and Luis
Otubassy, while two – locally – made guns and 15 live
cartridges were recovered from the suspects .
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He was said to have confessed to the crime and led the
operatives to arrest five other accomplices , including
an informant and a boatman , who ferried the victim to
their camp in the creeks .

In an interview during the week , Bassey , 30 , confessed
that he led the gang to kidnap two others , a
Cameroonian diplomat and a businessman .
He said the two victims spent one week each at their
den and were released after a ransom of N 2 m each
was paid for their release .

He stated he took to kidnapping because he had no
means to feed his wife and their four children during
the nationwide lockdown occasioned by the COVID- 19
pandemic .

Bassey said , “ I was doing menial jobs to sustain my
family but when the COVID- 19 pandemic started and
there was lockdown , I had no job and my family was
hungry .

One of my friends known as Christian
introduced me to kidnapping . I joined because there
was no way I could get money to feed my children.

“ Our
operation was at White Market area of Calabar where
we kidnapped an Igbo man selling auto spare parts .

We were six that went for that operation . We
kidnapped the man on the road and took him to the
waterside . I left them from that point and went home . ”

Bassey , who explained that he got N 300 , 000 as his
share of N 2 m ransom paid for the auto parts dealer ’ s
release , disclosed that he used the money to buy clothes
and food items for his family and set up small
business for his wife .

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