A traditional ruler in Awara, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State has been arrested by operatives of the Imo State Police Command for alleged involvement in kidnapping.
The traditional ruler was paraded on Monday by the police.
The Imo State Police Command also paraded 31 suspects who allegedly committed various crimes, ranging from armed robbery to kidnaping and rape, among others.
The Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Issac Akinmoyede, said a gang had kidnapped one Louis Obodo at Mgbala Agwa and Inspector Oscar Mbaeri in Agwa in Oguta Local Government Area recently.
He further said the gang kidnapped the trio of Chigozirim Nnaji, Desmond Okonkwo and Anyanwu Amarachi on July 19, after which the police gave them a hot chase.
Akinmoyede said the syndicate had abandoned their Lexus 330 Jeep during an exchange of gunfire with operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and Anti-kidnapping units of the command.
In an open confession, the traditional ruler told NAN that the syndicate paid him N3 million to use his Lexus 330 with registration number URM 404 EL during the kidnapping.
He said: “My Nephew took my vehicle to do kidnapping.
“I am not one of them.
“Though they have used my vehicle about four times and they gave me money.”
On his part, the head of the syndicate, Caleb Agu, said he provided spiritual guide for the gang.
The gang had Ikechukwu Njoku as Protocol officer; Ebenezer Obioha, Operational Commander and Executor; Fabian Obioha, gang armourer; while Bernard Uzoma was the native doctor that provided protection from operational hazards and arrests.
The police boss said on May 15, 2020, the gang ambushed and attacked a team of National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA officers, during which they killed one operative, left two others seriously wounded and absconded with their rifles.
Akinmoyede stated that the sum of N4,200,000, one Lexus 330 SUV, four AK 47 rifles, one LAR rifle, one SMG rifle and 120 rounds of 7.62MM life ammunition were recovered from the gang.
The CP said the suspects would be changed to court after investigation.