The Delta state police commissioner, Mr. Alkali Baba Usman, on Friday announced the arrest of six persons, said to be of Hausa origin, in connection with the kidnap and gruesome murder of the traditional ruler of Ubulu-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State, Edward Akaeze Ofolue III.
The traditional ruler was forcefully abducted by men suspected to be kidnappers on January 5, and his lifeless body was discovered on January 21.
But Usman, who broke the news of the arrest of the six suspects to journalists in Asaba on Friday in Asaba, said that in the evening of Tuesday, January 5, 2016, information was received by the DPO of Igbodo through a text message that the Divisional Patrol team, while on patrol, was informed that an unregistered black Toyota Land Cruiser was seen abandoned in a bush along Obio/Igbodo road by unknown persons.
According to him, when the vehicle was recovered to the police station, it was discovered through documents found in it that the vehicle belonged to Obi Akaeze Edward, the Royal Majesty of Ubulu-Uku. “In view of this revelation, the palace was contacted and it was gathered that the Obi left the palace alone in the said vehicle to Asaba earlier in the day,” the CP said, stressing that the Obi’s absent raised suspicion that he had been kidnapped.
The CP stated further that the hoodlums opened communication using the Obi’s phone and demanded for ransom on January 6, 2016, noting that one Pastor Charles Afamefuna, who was found wandering in the bush and was taken to Umunede police station, later confirmed that he was kidnapped together with the Obi.
The CP said: “In the course of investigation, on 8 February 2016, the late Obi’s Samsung handset was recovered from one Jamilu Ahmed at Abraka market, Asaba and he was promptly arrested.
The suspect’s useful statement to investigators led to the arrest of one Umar Abubakar, who claimed to have sold the handset to the former. Abubakar claimed that one “money dey,” presently at large, gave him the said Samsung handset to sell for him.”
Usman also told journalists that one Usman Musbau, who deleted the contacts from the Obi’s phone, has been arrested along with Suleman Musa, the second in command of the kidnap kingpin. Farida Abubakar, a girlfriend to Dogo, who was in possession of Akamefuna’s Nokia Asha 201 phone, was nabbed in Adamawa State. Garba Abubakar, ak. Dogo, the leader of the gang, was arrested at a Fulani settlement in Alfarma village in Gangaza local government area of Sokoto State. Mr. Usman vowed that all those arrested in connection with the crime would be made to taste the bitter medicine of their crime.