A joint team of operatives of the State Security Service (SSS), and the Nigerian Army have rescued three kidnap victims from a shrine in Anambra.Mr Alexander Okeiyi, the Director of SSS in Anambra, said this at a news briefing in Awka on Friday. He said the victims who were chained were rescued in the shrine located in a forest in Umuobi village, Awkuzu in Oyi Local Government Area.
Okeiyi said the victims were rescued from the hideout of the kidnappers led by Ifeanyi Nwaezeaga, a prophet operating the ‘Unchangeable God Miracle Church’ beside the shrine.
Those rescued, he said, were Solomon Okonkwo (33), Monday Osagie (50) and Udenwa Ikedibe (41).
The director said the kidnappers had demanded from their families the sums of N20 million, N50 million and N10 million respectively for their release.
“Mr Amaechi Oraekie, 35, from Awkuzu in Oyi local council area, who was allegedly taken to the shrine by his family members for elimination over land dispute, was also rescued.”
Okeiyi also said “preliminary investigation showed that the gang was responsible for the kidnap of Rev. James Achugbu of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Umunachi in Dunukofia on Feb. 2.”
Okeiyi said a Nissan Sunny car with registration number AV 112 AWK belonging to another victim, Mr Princewill Abian, who was released on Feb. 20, after payment of N100,000 ransom, was recovered.
Other items recovered from the prophet were his Nissan Jeep with registration number HAL 284 AA, four motorcycles, one generator, one Dane gun and an international passport of suspected kidnap victim.
Arrested in connection with the crime are seven suspects made up of five male and two female tending to the kidnap victims. They were arrested during the rescue operation.