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A 30-year-old member of the Edo State Vigilante group, Evans Osariemen, has been arrested for allegedly conspiring to kidnap a couple, Sunday and Patience Onofua.
Also arrested for the same alleged offence was Bright Emumwen, 29 and Chukwudi Anyawu (49), who allegedly supplied live cartridges to the kidnappers.
A statement by the Edo State Police Command’s spokesman, SP Kontongs Bello, said the suspects were busted through robust community policing partnership, at Okpagha community, off Benin-Auchi road, Benin city.
It was gathered that the two suspects approached one John Emma (not real name), to join them in the plans to kidnap the targeted victims.
But, John immediately contacted the son of the target victim who, immediately alerted the local vigilante and the Anti-Kidnapping and Cybe Crime Unit of the Command.
According to the police statement, “The team swiftly swung into action and arrested the suspects in their criminal hideout.
“During investigation, one Chukwudi Anyawu (49) a vigilante member who specialised in supplying the suspects with cartridges for criminal activities was arrested.
“Investigation further revealed that the suspects were working closely with some kidnappers operating around the Benin Bypass.”
Items recovered from the suspects include one single English-made barrel gun and eight rounds of live cartridges.
The Edo Police’s spokesman disclosed that investigation was still ongoing with the aim of arresting other collaborators.
Meanwhile, the State Commissioner of Police, Philip Aliyu Ogbadu, has directed that the suspects be charged to court.
Ogbadu who restated his commitment not to allow kidnappers and criminal elements operate in the state, advised communities to assist the police in identifying criminal vigilante members who hide under the guise of being a member of vigilante groups to carry out their criminal activities.