Seven men suspected of murdering an America-trained soldier, Chuks Okebata, on January 12, 2017, in Okigwe area of Imo State, have been arrested by the operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT).
The suspects are: Sunday Igwe, alias, School Boy; Michael Ahamefula; Oyebuchi Echefule; Ndubusi Isaac; Victor Dagogo; Chima Okoro and John Edet.
According to a police source, the suspects were rounded up at separate locations in Imo, Abia and Rivers states.
Two AK-47 rifles and six magazines loaded with 127 live ammunition were recovered from them.
Sources said efforts to apprehend the suspects, who were said to have carried out several high profile kidnappings and armed robbery operations around Imo, Abia and Rivers states, commenced a few months after the America-trained soldier was kidnapped and killed.
The source also disclosed that several persons who had fallen victim of the gang’s activities wrote petitions to the Acting Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, alerting him of their plights.
“Consequently, the crack team of operatives, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, was deployed in the South East to track down the suspects and bring their activities to an end.
“Based on the information provided by some of the victims, the IRT operatives in Abia State trailed the leader of the gang, School-Boy, to a hotel in Aba and apprehended him there.”
A member of the IRT team, who did not want his name in print because he was not authorised to comment on the issue, said they were on the trail of the gang leader for six months. “We eventually arrested him and recovered two AK-47 rifles and six magazine loaded with 127 live ammunition from him. Then, we went after his gang members and arrested his second- in -command, Michael Ahamefula, alongside another gang member, Oyebuchi Echefule, in a hotel in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“We went on to arrest Ndubusi Isaac, Victor Dagogo, Chima Okoro and John Edet, who are members of the gang in Orlu and Aba areas of Imo and Abia states.”
In their confessional statements, the suspects said they were members of a deadly armed robbery and kidnapping gang terrorising Imo, Abia and Rivers states.
The leader of the gang, School-Boy, said Okebata, was killed because he tried to kill them after he was kidnapped.