Three brothers, allegedly responsible for the kidnap, and gruesome murder of a mother of five, Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, in Abuja, have been arrested by police operatives attached to the Inspector – General of Police, Intelligence Response Unit (IRT).
The suspects – Johnson Emmanuel, 38, Gideon Emmanuel, 31, and Success Emmanuel, 27 – from Isiekenesi in Ideato Local Government Area of Imo State, perpetrated the heinous crime on May 14, 2020.
It was gathered that the 55-year-old woman had maintained friendship with the principal suspect, Johnson, on Facebook.
Johnson had reportedly invited Ogbonnaya, a widow to his house on Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja, where he served her yoghurt, laced with drug, and shortly after, murdered her.
It was further learnt that Johnson, alongside his brothers had buried the remains of the woman in a septic tank, and contacted her family with her phone number, saying that she had been kidnapped, and demanded a ransom of N5million for her release.
The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Frank Mba, who spoke on the arrest of the suspects said that the son of the deceased, Chinedu Ogbonnaya, reported the matter to the police.
Mba in a statement on Thursday said: “ The suspects, born by same parents, all male, were arrested by the Police in their home town where they had taken refuge after committing the crime in Abuja, in order to evade police arrest.
“ Investigations that led to the arrest of the suspects is sequel to complaints received from one Chinedu Ogbonnaya, who alleged that his mother, Mrs Janet Nnenna Ogbonnaya, a native of Ozuitem in Bende Local Government Area of Abia State, had been kidnapped and a N5million ransom demanded before she could be released.
“ A comprehensive and painstaking investigation by the police operatives resulted in the arrest of the three suspects, whom, in the course of interrogation, revealed that the victim had long been murdered and buried. Further findings revealed that the victim, a widow, who had been a Facebook friend of the principal suspect – Johnson Emmanuel, was lured from her home in Gwagwalada to visit the suspect.
“ The suspect thereafter took advantage of the visit, served her yoghurt laced with drugs and subsequently had her murdered. The suspect having killed the victim and buried her remains in a septic tank, went ahead to reach out to the family of the victim using her phone and demanded N5million ransom as pre-condition for her release. ”
The force spokesperson further stated that the body had been exhumed and taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja.
“ On June 4, 2020, the suspects led a team of investigators alongside pathologists to a residence at Wumba District, Lokogoma, Abuja, where the victim’s decomposing body was exhumed from a septic tank. The exhumed body has been taken to the University Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, Abuja for forensic examination, ” he said.
The FPRO also disclosed that Ogbonnaya’s Toyota Highlander Jeep, snatched by the suspects had been recovered.
He said: “ A Toyota Highlander Jeep belonging to the deceased has also been recovered by Police operatives at a mechanic workshop in Apo where it had been repainted into a different colour, vehicle documents fraudulently changed and ownership of the stolen vehicle criminally transferred to one of the masterminds of the crime – Johnson Emmanuel.
“ Investigations also revealed that the house where the deceased was killed and buried originally belonged to one of the suspects but was hurriedly sold off to a third party apparently to obliterate evidence.”
While Mba noted that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, had commended the operatives for a job well done, he said the IGP reassures that perpetrators of any form of crime in the country will not go undetected and unpunished.
He stated that the IGP enjoined citizens to be more security conscious and report any suspicious activities within their neighbourhood to the nearest police station.