With a friend and barber like 27-year-old Doughlas Nweke, Daniel Opiyo, a 17-year-old who resides in Port Harcourt, Rivers State with his parents now knows he needs no enemies.
Opiyo on October 28, 2014, got a first hand experience of the meaning of betrayal, when his neighbour, Nweke, who owns a barbing shop arranged the abduction of the teenager with the connivance of his wife, Ezinne, 23, and a three-man gang the couple hired. The evil group then demanded and received N2 million as ransom from Opiyo’s parents before he was released from their hideout at Ozuoba-NTA Road, Port Harcourt.
As Sunday Sun learnt from the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Mr Dan Bature, the kidnap incident exposed a new strategy which the abductors used to lure the victim to a rented flat, where they held him hostage.
Trouble started for Opiyo when his neighbour and regular barber conceived the idea of kidnapping him and using the anticipated ransom money to pay his rent. He got Opiyo’s GSM number and passed it to a member of the gang he hired, Godwin Samuel, who in turn forwarded it to a female member of the gang, Emanuella Olusegun, a 300 Level student of Medical Laboratory Science at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology. With the number Olusegun called the victim and sweet- talked him into a Facebook relationship.
Bature stated that Nweke, Samuel, Olusegun and David Dokoro, another member of the gang spent three months strategizing on how to kidnap Opiyo.
At the headquarters of Anti-Kidnapping Squad, AKS, Rivers State Police Command, where she is being held along with other accomplices, Olusegun recounted her role. She said: “It was one of our gang members, Godwin Samuel, who forwarded the phone number of the victim to me. I started chatting with him on Facebook until we became close friends. On October 28, 2014, I lured the victim from his house with a promise to give him a treat at an eatery and then took him to our hideout at Ozuoba where we kept him in a house we rented. The other members of the gang had tied both of us together so that he would not suspect me to be a member of the gang. Also, to make him remove his clothes I caressed him. Both of us were held hostage for six days. The other members of the gang fed us very well.”
Olusegun who claimed to be an orphan, disclosed that she was given N250,000 as her share of the ransom paid by the family, and complained that she was cheated in the sharing as she should have been paid N300, 000.
Through the underground information network,
the AKS learnt about the disagreement over the sharing of the ransom. The AKS headed by Supol Edward Shadare then wrote to the authorities of the RSUST, who disclosed the identity of Olusegun and she was arrested. The breakthrough facilitated the arrest of Samuel, Nweke, his wife, Ezinne and Dokoro.
In their own account of what transpired during the period Opiyo was held by the gang, Samuel and Dokoro told Sunday Sun : “We planned the details of the kidnapping of the victim. It took,us three months. We fed him with,rice, bread and noodles. We are members of the Vikings cult and we had to initiate him by making him suck our blood the way we do in,our cult. After the ransom was paid, both of us got N320,000 each.”
Typical of most criminal cases, their cookie crumbled and the duo was arrested at the junction close to the house of one,them in Rumosi Port-Harcourt.
Nweke, who could properly be described as Judas, the Barber, disclosed that Opiyo was,released on November 3, 2014, after his father paid N2 million though they had demanded N10 million from the family. Soon after he got his share, Nweke gave his wife N120,000 to pay their rent.
Bature said the AKS team in the course of arresting the gang members also recovered N300, 000, being part of the ransom, one locally made pistol and two live ammunition.