The Imo State Police Command on Thursday said it had arrested a deserter and a fake army officer for allegedly kidnapping and killing an Owerri-based businessman, Samuel Opurum.
Also arrested were Oluchukwu Opurum, nephew of the deceased businessman, and Chukwuma Ihemawulaotu, a fresh graduate.
Parading Oluchukwu and Ihemawulaotu at a gully in Umuokpa, Egbulu-Obube in the Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, where the suspects allegedly dumped the remains of the victim after killing him, the command’s Public Relations Officer, Orlando Ikokwu, stated that Samuel was kidnapped at his shop in Owerri on October 16.
According to him, three men in military uniform came to the deceased’s shop in the market and arrested him.
Ikokwu said that it was days later that it was discovered that the businessesman was actually kidnapped and not arrested by the kidnappers.
The command’s spokesperson said, “We are here to evacuate the remains of Samuel Opurum of Umuewo Amala in the Ngor Okpala Local Government Area of Imo State.
“Opurum, 58, was kidnapped at his shop in Owerri on October 16 by three men in military uniform. They came to his shop and told him that he was under arrest and the man innocently followed them.
“It was later discovered that the men in military uniform were kidnappers. The kidnappers established communications with the victim’s family and a ransom of N1.5m was paid.”
Ikokwu explained that after the ransom was paid, nothing was heard about the victim again, a situation that threw the family into panic.
According to the PPRO, through digital analyses on November 11 and 21, the operatives of the Anti-kidnapping Unit arrested four suspects.
Ikokwu added, “Among those arrested are one alleged fake military officer, Onyegbula Dike, 32, of Nguru, Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area, and the deserter, Kingsley Ezeogu, 30, of Enugu Ezike in Nsukka Local Government Area, Enugu State.
“Also arrested is a nephew of the kidnapped victim, Oluchukwu Opurum, 24, who masterminded the whole incident, and Chukwuma Ihemawulaotu, 30, of Okpofe, Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA, who brought the phone that was used in negotiating the ransom.”
The command spokesperson noted that another military officer was currently at large but said that the police were closing in on him.
Oluchukwu told journalists that immediately the N1.5m ransom was paid, the fake military man and the deserter cut off all communication with the family.
He regretted masterminding the kidnap and killing of his uncle, saying that the soldiers led him into the crime.