……..…I joined the gang because I am an orphan—22 yr-old suspect

By Raymond EKPE

Abba Kyari

A member of an ostensibly greenhorn kidnappers who allegedly stormed the home of a Rivers state based Magistrate at  Rumuagholu  area sometime in April this year, robbed and abducted his daughter is presently cooling his heels in the cold cell of the DCP Abba Kyari-led Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team IGP IRT.   The 22 year old suspect who identified himself as Gift Tasie while giving a blow by blow account of how they operated in the Magistrate’s house however, lamented and pleaded for leniency citing his status as an orphan for enlistment into the eerie gang. He confessed that the urge to eke out a living having lost both parents at tender age, dropped out of school and left with nobody to cater to him forced him into criminality. Police sources said the gang had after robbing the home of the Magistrate abducted his daughter adding that she miraculously escaped from their hideout few days after even as her family was making frantic arrangement to meet with the demanded ransom.  The source at the Rivers State annex added that Gift Tasie was tracked to his home and arrested stressing that other fleeing members of the syndicated were being trailed in earnest.

The Magistrate was quoted as saying, “That day, about four armed men accessed my home through the roof at the back at about 3am. Three of them who were armed with guns ordered us, me and members of my entire family to lie faced down.

They tied our hands and legs and blindfolded us. They then took time to raid the house of every available valuables including phones, money, jewelries, electronic devices, clothes and shoes. At least, the invaders spent more than an hour scouting for valuables before packing all they got inside one of his cars and abducted my 25 year old daughter. They also withdrew N100,000 from her account through her ATM.

On the second day, they contacted me and demanded for N10million as ransom. They started negotiating and the kidnappers who refused to accept the amount offered, switched off their phone with a promise to call back the next day. Luckily, my daughter escaped and ran back home.”

On how his daughter managed to escape, the magistrate told the police that his daughter was on her monthly menstrual cycle at the time she was picked. “She cried begging her abductor to help her get relief over the pain she was experiencing which they offered to buy her a bottle of Chelsea hot drink. One of the kidnappers volunteered to go to town and buy it and when he wasted a lot of time, the second person decided to go and check on her. The only one left to guard her after waiting for another 30 minutes also decided to quickly check on the others. On sensing that she was alone in the forest, she started screaming and when no one heard her. She started praying, shouting the name Jesus and

promised herself that if after shouting the name Jesus about 100 times, she will try to escape. After some minutes, she untied herself and started running back to the road, where a good Samaritan gave her transport fare back home. She told us that she was held at Rukpokwu forest in Obi Akpor Local government.”

But confessing his role in the saga while pleading for mercy altogether, Tasie who is a native of Emohua local government of Rivers State said what he did on the day of the attack was just to watch the area while the other gang members entered the house. His confession: “I became an orphan having lost my parents at tender age, so I dropped out of school. It was because I needed to survive that made me to join a bad gang led by one Ihekazi Igwe. He started by initiating me into their cult group known as Icelander.  On the day of the incident, I joined them at an agreed location at Omagwa. When I got there, Ihekazi, Ibuchi , Bright and Sampson Aaron where already on ground with their guns. We drove to the house and I was only given a machete to hold and watch out for vigilante boys. After about an hour, they drove out with another car inside from house with the kidnapped girl.  When we got to the bush, they shared all the valuables that was gotten from the house and I was given N10,000 and a wrapper. I was asked to go home because I live with my sister and if she does not see me in 24 hours she could raise an alarm. “When I called them the next day, they told me that they asked the family to pay N4million. I was waiting to be called to collect my share when Ihekazi called and said that she escaped. It was Ihekazi who assured us that he has surveyed the house and we can easily go back and kidnap her again. I wanted to use my share to start a business. I am sorry, it was poverty that led me to crime.”