3rd December, 2014
A robbery suspect who claimed to be a movie actor and played a role in a film titled Friday Night and also the music director at Christ Embassy Church, Zone 1, Idimangoro Parish, Agege, Lagos, western Nigeria, has been arrested by the operatives of the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad, Lagos Island.
Edward Nnaji, 25, and two of his alleged accomplices were arrested two years after the allegedly conspired with others to kidnap a female banker, Popoola Morenikeji, and collected the sum of N5 million as ransom before they set her free.
The suspects, according to the police, allegedly kidnapped the victim at Amuwo Odofin area of Mile 2, Lagos close to her residence when she stepped out of her vehicle to buy something and took her to an uncompleted building in a bush at Mowe area of Ogun State.
They allegedly tied her legs and hands and kept her for four days until a ransom was paid before they set her free..
The suspects reportedly set the victim free after her family members paid the sum of N5 million as ransom.
The suspects, according to the police, also sold the victim’s Toyota Corolla car valued at N1.8 million for N250,000 to David Nwangboe (now at large).
They also sold all the jewellery and handsets of the victim valued at N2 million and shared the loot.
Other suspects arrested in connection with the crime include Osas Osagie, 23, from Ogbe village, Oredo LGA of Edo State and Patrick Donatus Jackson, 29, who resides at 13, Famuyiwa Street, Idimangoro, Agege, Lagos, and hails from Akwa Ibom State.
One of the suspects simply called Jek is also at large.
Police investigation revealed that nemesis caught up with the arrested suspects two years after they allegedly perpetrated the act on 1 August 1, 2014.
The alleged ring leader, Nnaji regrouped with others and sent a threat to life text message to the victim to send N150,000 into their account for recharge card, with a warning that if she failed to send the money, they will trail her this time around and eliminate her.
The banker immediately sent a petition tothe Inspector general of Police after receiving the sms to save her from the kidnappers.
The Commissioner of Police Federal SARS, DCP Chris Ezike, took the matter up and deployed a team led by Inspector Oluwemimo Banjoko to fish out the suspects and they were arrested in Lagos and Edo states.
During interrogation, all the suspects allegedly confessed to the crime and led the police to the place they kidnapped the woman and kept her for four days before she was set free. In his alleged confession to the police, Nnaji said Jek masterminded the kidnapping .
“Jek brought the information that there was a woman that has money but she was very selfish and that he will want was to assist him kidnap her and collect money from her. One of us, Patrick, a private driver, provided his master’s car with which we trailed the victim to her street at Amuwo Odofin Estate, Mile 2 Lagos and kidnapped her.
“We blindfolded her and took her to an uncompleted building at Mowe area of Ogun state and kept her and contacted her family to pay the sum of N5 million as ransom or else we will kill her. The family paid N1.5m and not N5m as claimed by the victim and the police and we released her, but we did not allow the victim to suffer while in our custody as we fed her with rice and chicken throughout the four days she spent with us,” said Nnaji.
Continuing, Nnaji allegedly told the police: “My worry now is that I don’t know how the devil pushed me again two years after we committed the crime to threaten the victim again for more money before we were arrested. God has blessed me as I am the director of music at the Christ Embassy Zone 1 Parish , Idimangoro, Lagos and also an actor who played a prominent role in a film titled Friday Night which gave me fame and fortune. I promise to change if I am set free.”
After investigation the suspects were charged before an Igbosere Magistrates’ court, Lagos on a four-count charge of felony to wit, armed robbery.
The offences the police prosecutor, Supol Charles Odii said, are punishable under section 6 b, 1, 2(A) and b of the Robbery and Firearms Act and sections 269(1)(2)(3) and 270 of the criminal laws of Lagos state, 2011.
The plea of the accused persons was not taken and Magistrate E. N. Johnson ordered that the accused be remanded in prison custody pending DPP’s advice on the matter.
She adjourned the case till 13 January, 2015 for mention.