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N'Delta Kidnap Kingpin, Kelvin, Arraigned As Government Reveals Ozekhome, Eghagha Paid N40m, N7m Ransom

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, June 09, (THEWILL)   -  After over two months in in the custody of the State Security Services (SSS), Niger Delta kidnap kingpin, Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, who was arrested in Port Harcourt after a long manhunt, has finally been arraigned.

His arraignment came as indications emerged that a whopping N40 million was received as ransom last August by the Eziegbe's gang that abducted Lagos based lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN).

In the same vein, THEWILL gathered that a former Delta State Commissioner, Professor Hope Eghagha‎, also paid N7million to secure his freedom from the gang after he was kidnapped last September.

The allegations were made in court papers seen by THEWILL in the 14-count charge‎ filed against Eziegbe and two of his co-accused, Frank Auekor and Michael Omonigho, at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided by Justice Adeniyi Ademola.

They were accused of committing terrorism, murder, hostage taking and other sundry offences all punishable under the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.

Count 9 of the charge reads: 'That you Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, Frank Azuekor and others at large on or about Augusr 23rd, 2013 you committee an act of terrorism to wit: kidnapped Mike Ozekhome (SAN), at Iruekpen, on his way to Iviukwe, Agenebode and shot and killed four policemen, namely Paul Sunday Ajaka (ASP), Sunday Ewanshita (insp), Michael Akpada (insp) and Balary Kong (insp) and you demanded and compelled him to pay a ransom of N40million which were paid to you in US Dollars before you released Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1(2)(f) and Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 as amended.'

The accused were also charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist act to wit kidnapping of persons, accessory to an act of terrorism, inciting persons to commit act of‎ terrorism recruitment, escape and abetting escape, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 17 of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended. The offences were committed between. 2010 and 2013.

In count two , wherein the suspects were charged with murder of policemen, reads: 'That you Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, Frank Azuekor and others at large between 2010 and October 2013 at Delta State, conspired to commit terrorist act to wit: murder in the shooting and killing of 5 police officers namely, Paul Sunday Ajaka (ASP), Sunday Ewanshiha (Insp), Michael Akpada (Insp), Bakary Kong (Insp) and Innocent Odo (Sgt) ‎and two prison officials namely Lawrence edore (Insp) and Oyibo Okoye (SPA) while they were on official duties and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 17 of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended.'

When the charges were read to the accused, they all pleaded not guilty and the oral bail application made by their counsel, Bala Dakum, was rejected. The court however ruled that the suspects be remanded in the custody of the State Security Services till the next adjourned date of July 1 but Justice Ademola ordered the SSS to allow the accused access to their counsel pending commencement of their trial.

In count three, it was alleged that 'Kelvin Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor, and five others now at large between 2010 and October 2013, at Delta state, did commit a terrorist act to wit; intentional murder in the shooting and killing of 5 police officers namely; ASP Paul Ajaka, Insp. Sunday Ewanshiha, Insp. Michael Akpada, Insp. Bakary Kong, 23rd August 2013 at Iruekpen, on the Benin-Auchi Road, and Sgt Innocent Odoh, 30th September, 2012 on Warri-Asaba road, and two Insp. Lawrence Edore and SPA Oyibo Okoye, 13th March 2013 in Warri, while they were on official duties and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended.

'That you Kelvin Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor, and five others now at large between 2010 and October 2013, at Delta state, conspired to commit terrorist act to wit; hostage taking for purpose of compelling the payment of ransom and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 17 of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended.

Count five read, 'Kelvin Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor, and five others now at large between 2010 and October 2013, at Delta state and Edo state did commit a terrorist act to wit; hostage taking in that by force of arms you took hostage Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, Prof Hope Eghagha, Attanasius Ugbome, Emmanuel Omorogbe and others and compelled their relatives to pay various sums of money as ransom which you received before their release, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 15(1) of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended.

'That Kelvin Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor, and five others now at large on or about 23rd August, 2013 committed an act of terrorism to wit; kidnapped Mike Ozekhome SAN, at Iruekpen, on his way to Iviukwe, Agenbode, and shot at and killed four police men, namely ASP Paul Ajaka, Insp. Sunday Ewanshiha, Insp. Michael Akpada, Insp. Bakary Kong, and you demanded and compelled him to pay a ransom of forty million naira (40million) which were paid to you in US Dollars before you released Mike Ozekhome SAN, and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(f) of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended.'