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Security

Imo Kidnapping: Ehime Mbano, Ahiazu, Ezinihitte, Aboh Are Black Spots

Police

Kidnapping remains a major issue in Imo, even though a little decline in cases has been witnessed recently.
In the last six months, some prominent cases have occurred.

In August 2023, Imo State Police Command reportedly killed two suspected kidnappers and rescued their victim along Umuezorokam-Avu in Owerri West LGA.

In September 2023, Major General RC Duru, retd, was kidnapped around Orji axis in Owerri North Council Area of Imo State.

In November 2023, in Otulu community, Ezinihitte Mbaise Council Area, the traditional ruler of the community, Eze Joe- Benz Ochulor, was kidnapped and murdered.

Also in the same month, Imo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ward Chairman for Ife/Akpodim/Chokoneze Ward, Ezinihitte Mbaise Council Area, Smith Anyanwu, was kidnapped and murdered.

In December 2023, unidentified gunmen kidnapped the priest in charge of St. Michael’s Catholic Church Parish in Umuekebi, Osuoweerre autonomous community in Isiala Mbano Council Area, Reverend Father Kingsley Eze, popularly known as Father Ichie.

This year, ex-Chairman of Imo State Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Samuel Ohiri, was kidnapped at his hometown Orodo in Mbaitoli Council Area.
He was said to have spent 13 days in the kidnappers’ den.

In Ahiazu and Isiala Mbano Council Area, relatives of a kidnap victim pleaded anonymity, declining to state how much was paid as ransom for the release of their loved one.

One of them told Sunday Vanguard, “If you mention the amount, you are advertising yourself for other kidnappers to come and kidnap you for more ransom. We keep it to ourselves. “Sometimes, security agencies are aware. They use it to further their intelligence gathering about kidnap syndicates.”

Another person, who didn’t want his name in print, added: “You cannot pay anything less than N5 million to these boys. “However, it depends on your status. A brother who returned from Canada was kidnapped. It happened two years ago. He said they collected N12 million as ransom.

“These kidnappers operate within the Ehime Mbano and the three Mbaise council areas of Ahiazu, Ezinihitte and Aboh. “They also move towards the Ngor Okpala axis of the state and possibly camp in those thick forests within the areas.”

Other areas identified include Umuaka /Njaba along Owerri-Orlu Road and link road between Owerri/Aba Road and Owerri Airport.

Okwelle axis in Onuimo Council Area, Arondizuogu-Okigwe Road and the road from Ogbaku in Mbaitoli Council Area linking to Ohaji/Egbema LGA are also notorious for kidnapping. Also, there have been reports of kidnapping along Avu/Obosima/Adapalm Road in Ohaji/Egbema Council Area of Imo State.

Following reports of insecurity in these areas, military checkpoints have been situated in affected spots.(Vanguard)

Source: Hardcore News (Headline)

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