• ‘Kidnap of three-year-old twins ended our reign’


     The gang members
    The gang members
    Police arrest Edo ‘Most Wanted’ gang 
    LUCKY Usifo and his gang members have carried out several kidnapping operations in Benin City and succeeded. The kidnap of three-year-old twin girls (names withheld) in the city on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2015, brought an end to the run of successes in their illicit business.
    The end came when they were arrested in their hotel room in the heart of Benin by a team of anti-kidnapping squad of Edo State Police Command, led by Richard Balogun, a senior police officer.
    Giving an account of how the notorious gang met their Waterloo in an interview with The Guardian, they said they abducted the three-year-old twin sisters and fed them with pap (akamu) and biscuits.
    The kingpin, one Frank Utibor, usually does the background work and supplies information on how their targets could be kidnapped without any hassle. According to him: “In the compound where I stayed, a lady has twin daughters. Because they are rich, I now sold the idea of kidnapping them to my friend, Paul. After some days, Paul reminded me about the business and told me he was very interested because he had a professional crew, which he used to carry out his jobs.
    “He made me know that they are really professional in their job. The head of the crew is Lucky Usifo aka  ‘General’. After I gave the information to them, they were the ones who carried out the job and not me.”
    In General’s confession, he said: “I am 22 years old from Igieduma in Edo State. We were together; one of my friends introduced Frank to me. He was the one who gave me the business. He told me of a certain twins, whose parents were doing well. We proceeded to the place and worked on one Junior, who assisted us to gain access to carry the children.
    We demanded for N1million but they told us that they did not have that amount. It was later we discovered that Frank and his sister, who brought the job, were calling the parents at our back demanding for money. They actually went and collected money without our knowledge. They warned the woman not to pick our calls because they had already collected the money.
    We have carried out two kidnapping operations and several armed robbery operations. There was a time we kidnapped two children from their mother in Benin.”
    The hit man of the gang, Samuel Iredia, from Afuze, Owan Local Council, noted that his expertise in driving was what put the gang ahead of the police anytime they went on operation.
    According to him: “I usually drive the vehicle whenever there is a problem so that we are not caught by the police. When there is need to shoot and kill, I do it also. When they sold the idea of this job to us, we jumped at it. He initially urged us to kidnap his own grandmother but we refused but accepted to kidnap the twins.
    “We fed the twins with akamu, Bobo, biscuits and other children’s foods. We gave the lady money to be feeding the kids.”
    Osamuyi Idahosa, who guards the kidnapping camp in the bush, said his duty was strictly to guard the camp and ensure that their captives did not escape.
    Edo State police boss, Chris Ezike, told The Guardian that the days of kidnappers and armed robbers were numbered in Edo State.
    “Our anti-crime strategies have made Edo State investors’ delight because we have silenced kidnappers and criminals in this state. This set of kidnappers has been our problems. They are the most wanted and deadliest in the state. It took our well-coordinated anti-kidnapping team time to arrest them. When we got their location and moved, they resisted and shot our policemen but we got them at last. I want to urge criminals to vacate this state because we would get them”
    We actually monitored these kidnappers and did a coordinated tracking of their telephone numbers and their locations. We were careful to avoid harming the children. The children were rescued on January 2. The suspects have been terrorising Benin city.”
    Ezike was the commander of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), at Adeniji Adele, Lagos.
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