Governor Peter Obi, Wednesday, at Ifite-Oraifite in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State, supervised the demolition of two buildings belonging to a suspected kidnap kingpin, Mr. Olisagbo Ifedike.
Obi, had earlier announced that any building used by kidnappers or belonging to a kidnapper would be demolished and the land confiscated by government. A hotel and two buildings in the state had earlier been sealed off on the orders of the governor, following allegations that they were being used as hide out by suspected kidnappers.
Ifedike, 36, alias Ofe Akwu, was arrested on Monday by a combined team of the Inspector General of Police, IGP’s, special task force and State Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, along with a member of the gang.
The two properties demolished yesterday were a one -storey building with a pent house and a bungalow which he built for his father. During the raid on the compound, the police discovered sophisticated arms and ammunition in a plastic concealed underground behind the bungalow.
In the armoury were 27 AK 47 rifles, one K2 riffle, two type-06 rifles, one General Purpose Machine Gun, one Rocket launcher, 17 rockets, six pump action guns, three dane guns, one Barrett pistol and 13 Rocket grenades, as well as 12,800 rounds of AK 47 live ammunition, 530 rounds of LAR ammunition, 95 rounds of GPMG live ammunition, 1000 rounds of K2 live ammunition and 143 magazines.
Apart from an underground structure in the compound suspected to be a place for keeping victims, there was also an extended building with toilet facilities behind the bungalow suspected to be a place he was using as a cell.
In a small building attached to the wall near the gate was a shrine allegedly used by the father of the suspect, Mr. Patrick Ifedike, alias Ogbujingidi, said to be a native doctor.
Before yesterday’s demolition, it was noticed that there had been an attack on the compound by suspected angry mob who burnt parts of the buildings, smashed the windows, doors and furniture in the area.
Obi, who personally supervised the caterpillars while at work on the buildings with some members of the State Executive Council, said the action was in line with the law of the state which provides that any property linked to kidnappers and other criminals would be confiscated and demolished by the state government.
According to him, the decision was geared towards eradicating crime and flushing out hoodlums from the state. The governor said further that due process of the law had been initiated to prosecute the suspect, while government would go after all his investments in the country.
He said that Ifedike’s hotels have already been sealed off, while Abia State government would be contacted to seal off another hotel in Umuahia also belonging to him.
While explaining that machinery had been set in motion to arrest other people involved in the crime, Obi reminded other criminals still lurking in any part of the state, that the game was up as his administration would not relent until the set objective was achieved.
He also reminded traditional rulers and town union executives of their responsibility to ensure that their communities were not used as hiding place for criminals, even as he urged youths to take advantage of the various economic empowerment programmes of the state government to earn decent living.