Three suspects have been arrested and are now cooling their heels in a Police Cell for allegedly killing and dumping the body of a Deputy Crimes Police Officer in a well.
They committed the act in Eleme Local government area of Rivers State after receiving ransom from the victim’s family.
The three suspected kidnappers, 23-year-old Philemon Barrifa, 32-year-old Okechukwu Emmanuel and 33-year-old Barrisitom Gbara, were arrested in connection with the alleged abduction and murder of SP Moses Egbede, the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) of Afam Police Division in Oyigbo Local Government of Rivers State.
It was reported that Operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) and Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police coordinated the operation.
Late Egbede was reportedly beaten to death by the gang with his corpse said to have been thrown into a well located in a bush at Paya/Agbeta community, Eleme Local Government Area after his family paid a ransom for his release.
An official of FIB told newsmen in Port Harcourt that Egbede was abducted on July 21, 2020, but after the collection of ransom from his family on 30th July, the kidnappers reportedly refused to take calls from his family and thereafter switched off the phone they used to negotiate the ransom.
“This prompted the family members to approach the FIB and IRT to assist in the investigation,” he said.
Spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, SP Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the incident.
Omoni in a statement said, “Operatives of the FIB and Team IRT on August 5th commenced an investigation and with the aid of technical support from TIU Abuja, the perpetrators were identified which led to the arrest of three of the gang members who allegedly confessed to have kidnapped and killed SP Egbede.
“One of the suspects, Philemon Barrifa, a 23-year-old male from Bomu town in Gokana Local Government Area but resident in Agbeta camp in Ebubu town Eleme, confessed that the officer was beaten to death after the collection of ransom because he dragged with them and pulled down the face mask of two of their gang members during his abduction.
“Barrifa confessed that kidnapping of the police officer was planned in his house and executed by himself and other gang members. He got the sum of N120,000 as a share of the ransom collected.
“Another suspect, Okechukwu Emmanuel aka Bike boy, a 32-year-old from Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia state also confessed to be in charge of monitoring the movement of security agents during the gang operations. He received N100,000 as share from the DCO’s ransom.
“The third suspect, Barrisitom Gbara, a 33-year-old from Gokana but resident in Agbeta camp in Ebubu town Eleme was said provided the live cartridges used for the kidnapping of the police officer to the gang members through Philemon Barrifa.”
SP Omoni added that the suspects are cooperating with the operatives to track down other members of the gang now at large, especially the gang leader who allegedly brought the two AK47 used for the abduction.