A Lagos-based legal practitioner, Festus Keyamo, has accused the Delta State Police Command of conniving with kidnappers and attempting to cover up their crime.
Keyamo, who urged the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to carry out a thorough investigation into the kidnap of a housewife, believes the N5 million ransom paid by his client, Prince Ovwighodua Odebala, for his wife’s release, went into the pockets of some policemen.
According to him, the kidnapper had earlier demanded for N40 million ransom.
Keyamo explained that his client’s wife was abducted a few days after a policeman, Ntafiong, attached to Sapele Police Station, allegedly demanded N1 million from Prince.
Keyamo said: “This particular officer is notorious in that Division for demanding monies from prominent people in the area with threats. The officer forwarded the wife’s account number using phone number 08035090466. The account details are: Ann Onokurhefe, 0047238018, GTBank.”
Prince allegedly didn’t understand why he should part with a whooping amount, thus refused.
Keyamo said: “The police officer told him clearly that if anything happened to him or members of his family in Sapele, he would be on his own. Three days later, Prince Odebala’s wife was kidnapped.”
The victim was released after almost 10 days in the kidnappers’ den.
The lawyer further said: “Whilst in the kidnappers’ den, the kidnappers informed our client’s wife that her husband has so much money that he even bought phones for his girlfriends. They mentioned the dates of the purchases. Incidentally, these are facts known only to one Joel, a close confidant of Prince Odebala.”
Keyamo noted that when Prince reported the issue of the kidnaping of his wife to the DPO of Sapele Police Division, the officer took him to the Commissioner of Police, Delta State.
The Commissioner of Police called Ntafiong and simply asked him to release Prince’s wife.
Keyamo noted: “Our client was amazed that even the Commissioner of Police knew the involvement of this police officer in this crime but could treat such a serious matter with kid’s glove. Ntafiong was detained shortly and thereafter released.”
When Prince’s wife was released, he reported the matter to the Police and one Vincent, a police officer, in the IGP IRT Unit, Abuja was assigned to track down the kidnappers.
Vincent tracked the kidnappers and arrested two persons.
One of them was the alleged Prince’s confidante.
The lawyer alleged that the suspects “were surreptitiously released with connivance of the police officers”.
Keyamo insisted: “The lives of client and that of his wife are now in danger as her captors are now roaming free again with the connivance of the police. We request that a fresh investigation be ordered into this incident directly from your office to forestall any cover-up.”
The Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ibrahim Zanna, said he was shocked at the allegation leveled against the police under his watch.
Zanna, who denied knowledge of the said case, contrary to claims by Keyamo that the matter was brought before him, added: “If a policeman is alleged to be a kidnapper and the matter was brought before me and I didn’t act on it or do anything about it, it means I’m also a kidnapper. I don’t know of such a case. This is first time I’m hearing of such allegation.”
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