The Lagos State Police Command Monday paraded suspected kidnappers of the mother of the Coordinating Minister and Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.
Professor Kamene Okonjo, the mother of Okonjo-Iweala, was kidnapped by gunmen 9 December, 2012 in Delta state, southsouth Nigeria.
The eight suspects paraded Monday in Lagos are Ejiofor Ogbue a.k.a. Marvelous, 22, Michael Ojeabulu, 23, Endurance Oke, 22, Ibrahim Abubakar, 28, Buhari Amadora, 27, Hassan Oseni, 29, Chiejine Onochie, 32, and Chukwuma Okoh, 31.
Some of the suspects were arrested in Port Harcourt on 2 April, 2013 following the arrest of their suspected gang leader, Ejiofor Marvelous, and Okoh on 27 March, 2013 at about 1000hrs by men of the State Investigation Burea, SID, in the Lagos Police Command.
In their alleged confessions to the police, the suspects said they kidnapped Prof Okonjo in December 2012 in Delta state and that they had been involved in other kidnappings.
Suprintendent of Police, SP Abba Kiyari had directed his men to go after the suspects, especially Marvelous, the leader of the gang and in the process five members of the gang were also arrested at different locations in Edo, Enugu, Delta and Anambra.
They also claimed that they collected N13 million ransom after they kidnapped the minister’s mother and that they had been involved other kidnappings, including the recent one which involved an elderly woman called Mrs Regina Obi Johnson, who was killed after they collected N2 million ransom, before they were arrested.
Professor Okonjo was believed to be in her late 70s when she was taken from her family home in Ogbe-Ofu, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta North Senatorial District in December last year.
Her husband, Professor Chukwuka Okonjo, the traditional ruler (Obi) of Ogwashi-Ukwu was said to be away in Abuja when the gunmen struck.
Reports said the abductors, about ten of them, came in two cars, one of them a Golf car and pounced on the Queen Mother of Ogwashi-Ukwu when she followed her house-maid to serve drinks to tilers, working in the palace.
The abductors, unknown to the woman, were lurking around and pounced on her, dragging her into a waiting Golf Volkswagen car.
“The abductors when they walked into the compound were heavily armed. They were about ten. They bailed up the men fixing the interlocking tiles and asked them to lie face down. Immediately they saw her (the King’s wife who was coming towards the gate with her maid to serve the workers soft drinks) they bundled her into the waiting Golf car while another car was parked outside,” a source said.
According to reports, one of them even went upstairs to collect the woman’s handbag.
A statement was later issued by the Ministry of Finance on the abduction.