A twenty-two year-old self-confessed member of Delta kidnap kingpin, Kelvin Onyiara’s gang, Apkpevwe Richards (aka 2 Mark), yesterday, said that Kelvin, who was arrested by security agents last September, had over 300 trained kidnappers spread across several cells in the Niger Delta region.
Paraded along other suspected criminals by men of the 4 Brigade/Sector 1 Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, in Benin City, Edo State, Richard confessed to being part of a cell that abducted Edo State High Court judge, Justice Daniel Okungbowa.
According to him, he was also involved in the kidnap of a security expert, Ona Ekhomu and his wife, Victoria.
The suspect, who was arrested along with a cache of arms and ammunition, a Prado jeep, which the 4 Brigade Public Relations Officer, Capt Roselyn Managbe, said was identified by Okungbowa as his, a BMW car marked Lagos GC 484 EKY, charms and other items, admitted to being recruited into the gang by one Rufus.
“In the efforts of 4 Brigade/Sector 1 Joint Task Force, Operation Pulo Shield, Nigerian Army to combat crime within its area of responsibility, 19 Battalion troops deployed at Kokori community in Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State, on October 18, 20134, following a tip-off and a distress call about the kidnap of one Dr Ona Ekhomu and his wife, Victoria, at Benin-Auchi Road, at gunpoint in a gun duel, arrested one Richards,” Captain Managbe said.
“In the course of investigation, the suspect, who hails from Okweiraka Village, Kokori, Delta State, admitted to the crime and revealed that he and his accomplices carried out an operation on Benin-Auchi Road and kidnapped one Dr Ona Ekhomu and his wife, who was rescued unhurt by the Joint Task Force.
“The suspect also revealed that he started life as a commercial motorcycle rider before going into illegal oil bunkering and later graduated to kidnapping under the tutelage of Mr. Kelvin Onyiara, who was arrested sometime in September 2013, by the Joint Army and Directorate of Security Service, in Port-Harcourt.”
The military anti-crime outfit also paraded three suspected arms dealers, over alleged trade in arms and one Kefas, for parading himself as a military personnel.