Obiano Applauds Arrest of 20 Kidnap, Robbery Suspects

By James Eze

The Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano has applauded the recent arrest of 20 suspected kidnappers and armed robbers by men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in the state.

The huge success was recorded barely one week after the governor launched an all-out war against crime in the state with the formation of a Joint Task Force on Security made up of the police, the army, the navy and the para-military to cleanse the state of the activities of the underworld.

The suspects were rounded up from the various flashpoints across the state with a cache of arms including five AK 47 riffles, one English Beretta pistol, six pump action riffles, one locally made pistol, ten magazines, 9000 live cartridges, and two and half bags of Indian hemp.

Lauding the exploits of the security agencies Governor Obiano said, 'the Joint task force is doing a marvelous job. They have shown that Anambra State can be freed from the grip of criminals. I want to use this opportunity to warn criminals in the state to either drop out of the scene or clean up their acts because this offensive will be sustained until Anambra is reclaimed from undesirable elements.'

Obiano who also warned that punishment for kidnapping in the state is death penalty after proper investigation and trial further declared that 'Ensuring the security of lives and property in Anambra State is very important is very dear to my administration. We must create a crime-free environment before I can fully implement the Four Pillars of development that will turn Anambra State around for the better. That is why we are taking security serious in Anambra State. I urge citizens of Anambra to be vigilant and conscious of what is happening in the communities around them and provide useful information that will help the on-going fight.'

The Governor further explained that his administration is empowering the Security outfits with communication equipment and gadgets that would aide them in their job. He added that manpower training and financial support are also being rendered to the team to enable them stamp out criminality so as to encourage investors to come and invest in Anambra State. The Governor also invited ndi Anambra to a 2-day Stakeholders Security Conference scheduled to hold in Awka on Thursday 17th April 2014.

Earlier at SARS Headquarters, Awkuzu, the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Usman Gwary had confirmed the arrest of the suspects at locations within and outside Anambra State especially in neighboring states, where the Police Chief said the criminals often run to hide after operations.

The Commissioner of Police said that the suspects arrested this week include the kidnappers of former Director of Finance, Chief Robinson Ezeife and Mr Felix Obiefuna from Agulu. The CP commended Governor Obiano for his zeal and determination to fight crime. He lauded the formation of the Joint Task Force for bringing about the collaboration with other Security agencies and thanked the Governor for the support and encouragement.

The suspects have been making confessional statements. One of the suspects, Mr. Ogochukwu Ngwueche from Enugu State admitted his role in the kidnap of the brother of a prominent transporter in Onitsha where they received N5million ransom. Another suspect, Philip Amiyo also from Enugu State, said he returned from Malaysia after 8 years of sojourn without anything and thereafter decided to join a kidnap gang where he received N2million as his share; while Echezona Akpulu from Agulu, Anambra State said he provided information for one of the kidnap cases and received three Hundred Thousand Naira only.