Lagos lawyer and activist, Festus Keyamo has petitioned the Inspector General of the Nigerian Police over alleged complicity of men of the Nigerian Police Force in a case of kidnapping involving the wife one of his client’s, Prince Ovwighodua Odebala.
In the letter dated 3rd of May, Keyamo said his client’s wife (a businesswoman) was kidnapped on the 22nd March, 2017 at Sapele, Delta State and shortly before the incident, her husband Prince Odebala was contacted by one Mr. Ndifreke Ntafiong (a police officer) who forwarded his wife’s account number and demanded for a sum of N1, 000,000.00 (One Million Naira) to be paid to him through that account.
Keyamo further stated in the letter that the officer in question is said to be notorious in that Division for demanding monies with threats from prominent people in that area.
“The officer forwarded the wife’s account number using phone number 08035090466. The account details are: Ann Onokurhefe, 0047238018, GTBank,” Keyamo said.
Continuing, he added that; “Prince Odebala told him there was no reason to part with such a sum and the police officer told him clearly that if anything happened to him or members of his family in Sapele, he would be on his own. It was three days later that the wife of Prince Odebala was kidnapped.
“The kidnappers kept Prince Odebala’s wife from 22nd March, 2017 till 31st March, 2017 when she was eventually released after payment of a ransom of N5,000,000.00 (Five Million Naira). However, the initial sum demanded was N40, 000,000.00 (Forty Million Naira) before it was later reduced.”
Keyamo also added that the kidnappers seemed to know so much about his client which made him (Prince Odebala) sum up that someone close to him plotted the kidnapping of his wife.
“Whilst in the kidnappers’ den, the kidnappers informed our client’s wife that her husband has so much money that he even bought phones for his girlfriends. They mentioned the dates of the purchases. Incidentally, these are facts known only to one Joel Enajiro who was close confidant of Prince Odebala. It was then that our client suspected that Mr. Joel Enajiro (who was with him when he bought the said phone) was a party to the plot along with the police officer who threatened him.
“That’s when our client reported the issue of the kidnapping of his wife to the DPO of Sapele Police Division, the officer swiftly acted and took him to the Commissioner of Police, Delta State. Upon narrating the incident to the Commissioner of Police, the Commissioner called Mr. Ndifreke Ntafiong (also known as Iwok) and simply asked him to go and release our client’s wife. Our client was amazed that even the Commissioner knew the involvement of this police officer in this crime but could treat such a serious matter with kid’s glove. Mr. Ndifreke Ntafiong was detained shortly and thereafter released. He then informed Prince Odebala to go and withdraw the complaint against him before his wife would be released. Prince Odebala declined to withdraw the complaint.
“However, it was shortly after the release of Mr. Ndifreke Ntafiong, that the kidnappers called to reduce the ransom to the sum of N5, 000,000.00 (Five Million Naira) which was eventually paid.
“When our client’s wife was eventually released, our client reported the matter to the Police and one Mr. Vincent (a police officer) in the IGP IRT Unit in SARS Abuja was assigned to track down the kidnappers. Mr. Vincent then collected all the numbers of persons who were suspected to be involved in the kidnapping of our client’s wife. Consequently, he told our client that he was able to track all of them and he knows them. Two people, to whom those numbers were traced, were later arrested (Mr. David Adogbeji and Mr. Joel Enajiro). But they have since been surreptitiously released with connivance of the Police Officers. The lives of Mr. Odebala and his wife are now in danger as her captors are now roaming free again with the connivance of the Police,” he said.
While calling on the IGP to wade into the matter to avoid any cover-up, Keyamo also expressed his reservations on the mode of investigation being carried out by the police thus far.
“It is in the light of the above that we write to express our client’s reservation on the mode of investigation being carried out by the police thus far. We hereby request that a fresh investigation be ordered into this incident directly from your office to forestall any cover-up,” he said.
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