Police arrest killer of Imo judge, rescue 15 kidnapped persons

The Imo State Police Command has arrested the alleged killer of Justice Chukwujieze Ogu, a chief magistrate and rescued 15 travellers who were kidnapped along the Owerri/Port Harcourt Expressway in the state.

Parading the suspect that allegedly killed Ogu, Friday Nnaekezie, on Friday at the command headquarters in Owerri, the state capital, the state Commissioner of Police, Dasuki Galadanchi, said the suspect hired assailants to kill the chief magistrate.

The CP said that after paying the assailants N500,000 to kill the judge, the suspect fled to Lagos.

The police said that the suspect had suspicions that the deceased was sleeping with the clerk in his court, Uju Nwanne, who is the suspect’s wife.

Angered by the development, the suspect hired people to kill the chief magistrate, the CP said.

“Upon the receipt of the report of the murder of the chief magistrate attached to Uburu in Oru West Local Government Area on November 23, 2018, I ordered a full scale investigation into the matter to unravel the mystery surrounding the incident and possibly arrest the perpetrators of the dastardly act.

“Following the directive, operatives of the homicide section of the Criminal Investigation Department swung into action and in the course of investigation, one Friday Nnaekezie, 34, of Eziama Ubulu in Oru West Local Government Area of Imo State was identified (as the suspect).

“The suspect, who fled to Lagos State after committing the crime, was eventually arrested. He has however confessed to the crime, stating that he hired three other men now at large and paid them the sum of N500,000. Along with himself, they abducted and murdered the deceased, Chukwujieze, because he was dating his wife, Uju Nwanne,” he said.

The CP said that five expended shells of AK 47 ammunition, one milk-coloured mask and a secret cult sticker with inscription ‘Snap 55’, were recovered as exhibits.

Meanwhile, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, said the kidnapped travellers were rescued by men of the Ohaji Police Division in a forest.

Ikeokwu explained that the travellers were heading for Bayelsa State in a commercial transit bus when they were abducted by the kidnappers and taken into a forest.

He also disclosed that the police engaged the hoodlums in a gun battle before rescuing the hostages.

According to him, some of the kidnappers must have escaped with gunshot wounds, as there were bloodstains on the ground when the hostages were freed.

A pump action rifle was recovered from the hoodlums.

The police spokesman said, “A Bayelsa State-bound mass transit bus conveying 15 passengers was intercepted along Owerri/Port Harcourt Expressway close to the boundary between Imo and River states.

“The police were alerted and the Divisional Police Officer of Ohaji police station promptly mobilised his operatives to go to Umuapu forest for the rescue operation and in the course of combing the forest, the hoodlums were sighted and a fierce gun duel ensued after which all the 15 travellers abducted were rescued unhurt.

“It is suspected that some of the hoodlums escaped with bullet wounds as we saw bloodstains on the ground.

“A pump action gun loaded with six cartridges was recovered. The victims were debriefed and released to be reunited with their relatives.”

The police spokesperson said that patrols had been intensified along the expressway to prevent further abductions.

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