An arrested suspect, identified as Ifeanyi Asiegbuelam, has revealed how he aided the late billionaire kidnapper, Collins Ezenwa, aka E-money, in kidnapping numerous rich victims.
He narrated how most of his victims had been affluent people from the South-East, especially in Imo and Abia states.
He stated that all his work for Ezenwa had however not led to him becoming rich as the kidnap boss had left him broke.
Ezenwa, a dismissed police corporal, was killed in January 2018 during a gun duel with policemen attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Imo State Police Command when he attempted to kidnap a South-African-based Nigerian businessman in Owerri.
More than 13 buildings including a hotel, belonging to the late kidnapper were reportedly traced by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team to Abia, Imo and Enugu states, while seven cars, two SUVs, one Hilux truck, a commercial bus, two tipper-lorries and a trailer belonging to him were also recovered from several locations within the South-East.
Asiegbuelam, was arrested recently by policemen in Cross Rivers State and handed over to IRT operatives.
“Few years into the trade, I met E-money in Owerri and he was also an okada rider at the time. E-money and I became very close friends.
“We did the job for five years before he joined the police. He asked me to join him but I told him I had no school certificate. He went ahead to join the police and started driving police vehicles around Owerri.”
“But a few weeks later in the same year, he showed up in my house in a dark-tinted Toyota Prado SUV, and there he invited me to join his kidnapping enterprise. On the first operation I went with him, we drove to Okigwe, where we kidnapped a man in his car.
“We accosted the vehicle and dragged the man out of the vehicle and took him into our own vehicle; then we zoomed off. E-money then asked me to blindfold the victim and when we got close to my town, E-money asked to come down from his SUV and he gave me N50,000. I didn’t question him and he drove the man away. I didn’t know where he took the man to, number of days the man spent with him, how he negotiated and collected his ransom.”
“Then I got a call from Ugo, who kept one of E-money’s rifles and we formed a new gang. But on our first operation, we had trouble. Some policemen accosted us and a shootout ensued. Ugo’s friend was killed. Ugo escaped but Chimobi and I were arrested. Chimobi sustained a bullet wound in the process and we were kept in an open-cell in handcuffs. I wouldn’t know how Chimobi got the keys to our handcuffs and we escaped again from police custody.
“I ran to Port Harcourt and stayed there for more than one year; then I moved to Calabar when I felt the police were closing in on me in Port Harcourt. I lived in Calabar for seven months with a friend who I met in Port Harcourt and we worked on a farm. I was arrested in my friend’s house and taken to Owerri before I was brought back to Lagos and handed over to the IRT. It was after my last arrest that I realised that E-money made so much money from our business and left me a poor man begging for money.”