The police has arrested three brothers suspected to have kidnapped and murdered a mother of five in Abuja.
They added that the deceased’s body has been exhumed for forensic examination.
In a statement released on Thursday by DCP Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, the brothers’ names and ages were given as Johnson Emmanuel (38), Gideon Emmanuel (31), and Success Emmanuel (27).
The victim, Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, was allegedly kidnapped and “gruesomely murdered” on May 14.
“The suspects, born by same parents, all male and native of Isiekenesi, Ideato LGA of Imo State were arrested by the Police in their home town where they had taken refuge after committing the crime in Abuja, in order to evade police arrest,” the police spokesperson said.
“Investigations that led to the arrest of the suspects is sequel to complaints received from one Chinedu Ogbonnaya who alleged that his mother, Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, 55yrs, native of Ozuitem in Bende LGA of Abia State had been kidnapped and a 5 Million naira ransom demanded before she could be released.
“A comprehensive and painstaking investigation by the police operatives resulted in the arrest of the three (3) suspects, whom, in the course of interrogation, revealed that the victim had long been murdered and buried,” the police added.
The police found that the victim, who was friends on Facebook with the principal suspect, Johnson, was lured from her home in Gwagwalada to visit him.
Johnson then served her a drink of yoghurt laced with drugs before having her killed.
“The suspect, having killed the victim and buried her remains in a septic tank, went ahead to reach out to the family of the victim using her phone and demanded 5 Million naira ransom as pre-condition for her release.
“Meanwhile, on June 4, 2020, the suspects led a team of investigators alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank. The exhumed body has been taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja for forensic examination,” DCP Mba stated.
The police recovered a Toyota Highlander Jeep that belonged to the deceased from a mechanic workshop at Apo. Its colour had already been changed and the vehicle documents were manipulated to transfer ownership to Johnson.
“Investigations also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold-off to a third party apparently to obliterate evidence,” the police said.
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, while commending the operatives of IRT [Intelligence Response Team] for a job well done, reassured that perpetrators of any form of crimes in the country will not go undetected and unpunished.
He, however, enjoined citizens to be more security conscious and report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest police station.
According to data collected by the Nigeria Security Tracker, 906 victims of kidnapping have lost their lives in Nigeria between January and May.
A report published by SBM Intelligence in May revealed that about $18.3 million (over N7 billion) has been paid as ransom to kidnappers between 2011 and 2020.
The company also stated that Abuja has the 11th highest number of kidnap incidents in the last 10 years.
“It is important to point out that in the earlier years, there were fewer incidents, and larger amounts changed hands.
“Now there are a lot more incidents for smaller amounts, but the sheer number of incidents, speaking to the democratisation of the kidnap industry, means that the kidnap economy now makes more money. Crime, in this case kidnapping, does appear to pay,” SBM Intelligence pointed out in its report.