A man identified as Joel Emazor, 31, who was arrested for alleged kidnapping in Edo State, has claimed ignorance of the fact that his actions constituted a crime until he was taken into police custody.
The suspects, identified as Joel Emazor, 31, and Philip Roberts, 30, reportedly connived with two others, Ossai and Eguavoen, who are currently on the run, to abduct Igbinomwanhia and hold him hostage in a pit for five days until his parents paid a ransom of N5.1 million.
Speaking to the media, Emazor claimed that he was unaware that his actions constituted kidnapping until he was arrested and taken into custody by the police.
He explained that he had a business deal with the victim, but when he asked for his money, Igbinomwanhia informed him that the people involved in the business had not given him his payment.
This led Emazor to take Igbinomwanhia to the police station, but when the issue was not resolved to his satisfaction, he and his accomplices took the victim to a pit and held him there for five days before releasing him for a ransom.
The Edo State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, revealed that the suspects were apprehended on March 30 by the command’s intelligence rapid response squad based on credible intelligence.
The victim was kidnapped on March 6 from Igbinedion Avenue, G.R.A, Benin City and taken to a hideout near Okhuahe River in a Lexus Jeep RX 330 with registration number RBC 18 DC.
After collecting the ransom, the suspects reportedly continued to call the victim and his parents, threatening to kidnap him again if they did not pay an additional N14 million.
This prompted the parents to petition the commissioner of police, leading to the arrest of the suspects.
“The suspects were arrested from their hideout and they have made statements and confessed to the crime. Efforts are ongoing to track the other fleeing members of the gang,” said SP Nwabuzor.
This incident highlights the prevalence of kidnapping in Nigeria and the need for increased vigilance and security measures to combat the menace.
It also underscores the importance of educating the public on the gravity of such crimes and the legal consequences that accompany them.