A suspected kidnapper, Isaac Aforji, alias Angel Boy, has revealed how he and his gang members abducted the Divisional Crime Officer of Afam Police Station, Moses Egbede, collected a ransom from his family and then killed him.
He was held captive at Osogbo in Agbeta Community under Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Two days after his abduction, the kidnappers called his wife, Grace Egbede, demanding a ransom of N50 million.
On July 31, 2020, a ransom of N1 million was paid by Moses’s first son, Emmanuel Egbede.
After collecting the ransom, Angel Boy convinced his gang members to kill Moses.
The DCO was shot dead and his body tied and dumped inside an abandoned well.
Angel Boy and some of his gang members had since been arrested by Operatives of the Special Intelligence Response Team.
The suspects so far in police custody for the offence are Aforki, 34; Okechukwu Emmanuel, aka Ezeruwa, 34; Philemon Barifaa, 23; Prince Zopkara, 30; Onyemechi Francis, 28; Lucky Teeage, 36; K. Kenneth, 47; Pius Kpala, 39; Barrison Gbara, 28; and Emeka Chukwuma, 22.
Angel Boy would later confess to have suggested the murder of Moses because the policeman, while investigating Angel Boy’s kidnapping activities, had to arrest his wife by proxy when police couldn’t locate him.
Angel Boy, married with three children, said: “After I left where I completed my apprenticeship, I opened a welding workshop.
“There was a crisis in my community and my equipment was stolen.
“I went into riding motorbikes.
“I got married and ventured into oil bunkering, where I had a fire accident.
“I spent all the money I had on treatment.
“I became broke and then I met the youth president, Tombare.
“I told him about my challenges and he initiated me into the kidnapping business.
“My first kidnapping operation was a man in a Lexus car, the second was the abduction of mother and child, while the third operation was the abduction of Mr. Obinna Ofornedu, aka Lotto man.
“I don’t know the amount collected as ransom from Lotto man, but I was given N80,000 as my share.
“At the time of kidnapping Lotto man, someone who recognised me reported to the police.
“The person showed the police my house.
“It was Moses that led a police team to my house.
“When they didn’t find me, they arrested and detained my wife for nine days.
“She was later released when I didn’t show up.
“We went for another kidnapping, where we kidnapped a man at Oyingbo, known as Television man.
“It was one Mr. Okechukwu that brought the job and asked us to kidnap the Television man.
“We took him to Gbake community and held him for nine days until his family paid N1 million.
“I got N100,000 as my share.
“The job, to abduct Moses, was brought by his cousin, who is also a pastor.
“After we kidnapped Moses, his family paid N1 million.
“I then insisted that he should be killed for embarrassing me before my wife.
“Teddy shot him, tied his corpse and dumped it inside a well.
“Teddy then converted Moses’s Lexus to his.”
Angel Boy further explained that two months before the abduction of Moses, he kidnapped Lotto man.
Police identified Angel Boy as part of the kidnappers that abducted Lotto man.
Moses and one Inspector Chris tracked Angel Boy to his house, hoping to arrest him.
But he was not seen and so they arrested his wife.
When Angel Boy didn’t show up, his wife was eventually released.
Angel Boy said that he couldn’t bring himself to forgive the DCO for arresting his wife by proxy.
One of the suspects, Philemon Barifaa, 23, married with a child, described himself a school dropout and a farmer by profession.
He said: “I started kidnapping in 2016.
“I kidnapped a pastor in the Panya area of Eleme in 2017, but we released him after ransom was paid.
“We also kidnapped Alhaji Mohammed Abdulahji, who sells cows at Oyigbo Market.
“His offence was that his cows were destroying our crops.
“We wanted him to leave our community, but he insisted that the community must pay him N7.5 million for the cows that were killed by members of our community.
“His boys had also killed some of our community members on their farms.
“Our community members brought a charm to kill him, but it didn’t work.
“The then Chief Priest and secretary of our community said that we should kill the man.
“It was the Youth Secretary that showed us the routes that Alhaji used to frequent.
“We were seven in number that went on that operation.
“After kidnapping him, we called his people and demanded for ransom.
“His people then called the Youth Secretary and gave him N3 million, which was what we agreed.
“Each of us got N380,000.
“We all contributed N180,000 and gave it to our chief priest.
“He used it to prepare charms, which would make the matter to be forgotten.
“At that time, we had already killed the man and buried him.
“I left the community for two months.
“When I returned, I stayed quiet and then in 2020, I met Angel Boy.
“He suggested we should form a kidnapping gang.
“We got four of our friends to join us and bought locally made guns.”
Barifaa said after forming the gang, they went on a kidnapping spree.
One of those they kidnapped was a man driving a Lexus 300 car.
According to the suspect, they held the victim captive in a bush for two days.
The victim’s family finally paid a ransom and Barifaa got N32,000 as his share.
The abduction of the victim and subsequent payment of ransom happened between February and March 2020.
He further narrated: “We kidnapped a woman and her child in the Oyingbo area.
“We collected N300,000 as ransom and then we released mother and child.
“It was the DCO’s cousin that orchestrated his abduction.
“But one of my friends, who were involved in the kidnapping of Alhaji, called and told me about the plan to kidnap the DCO.
“They also invited Angel Boy, Friday and Teddy.
“We kidnapped the man at Obama at the early hours of a Friday.
“Teddy took him to our camp in Osogbo, at the back of Panya.
“I didn’t know that the man was a policeman.
“After we collected the ransom of N1 million from his family, Angel Boy said that the policeman must be killed.
“He was killed and his corpse dumped inside a well.
“I got N200,000 as my share of the ransom.
“Then we kidnapped a man driving a Toyota Highlander and we blinded one of his eyes and took him into captivity.
“The man managed to escape from our camp.
“We took the man’s car to Port Harcourt and sold it.
“I was arrested two days after that operation.”
Okechukwu Emmanuel alias Ezeruwa, 34, married with a child, said that while life was tough for him, his friend, Angel Boy, was driving a Lexus car and living large.
He further said: “Angel Boy asked me to look for someone he and his gang could kidnap.
“I gave them information about one of my customers called Television man.
“He lives in Oyigbo.
“I assisted them in trailing the man, beginning from when he left his shop.
“Angel Boy and his gang kidnapped him on the road and took him to their camp.
“The man paid a ransom of N1 million and was released.
“The money was shared right in the presence of the victim.
“I got N100,000 as my share, while Angel Boy also got N100,000.
“Both of us decided to take the victim to the expressway, where he could get a vehicle to take him home.
“However, on our way back, we were robbed by some armed robbers.
“They robbed us of the ransom money and also collected our operational motorcycle from us.
“We took Television man’s SIM card, which was still with us and called him.
“We told him that if he didn’t pay us the sum of N100,000 for a new motorcycle, we would kidnap his wife.
Lucky Teeage, 36, is the Chief Priest in the community, where most of these suspects live.
He prepares charms for them.
Teeage said: “It is my duty to consult the oracle to get solutions to problems affecting our community.
“In the year 2017, I was going to work and on my way I heard that Alhaji had been kidnapped.
“I saw our boys on the road with Alhaji and joined them.
“They made me promise not to disclose what I know to anyone.
“I was later told that a ransom of N3 million was paid for Alhaji.
“I got N380,000 as my share of the ransom.
“Everyone that took part in the kidnapping later ran away from the community.
“I asked them to bring money for preparation of charm, which I would prepare to make everyone forget about the disappearance of Alhaji.
“I don’t know how Alhaji was killed.”
Pius Kpala, 39, attempting to justify the abduction and murder of the cow dealer, said: “We’re residents of the community.
“Alhaji came into the community in 2000 and by 2014, his boys had used cows to chase people.
“His boys killed over three persons in our community and destroyed our farms.
“We have about 17 communities dominated by Ogoni people.
“We could no longer go to our farms.
“We then got information from the community that if we killed Alhaji, the whole issue would be resolved.”