Members of the same family, who went further in their blood relationship to form a kidnap syndicate, have been rounded up by operatives of Ogun State Police Command.
Reporters At Large gathered that the arrest was connected with series of kidnap cases in Sagamu town and its environs in 2020.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said on Friday, March 5, 2021, that the matter caused the state Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun to direct the Area Commander and all Divisional Police Officers in Sagamu to fish out those behind the act within the shortest possible period.
According to the PPRO, in compliance with the police commissioner’s directive, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Sagamu Division, CSP Okiki Agunbiade, and his crack detectives embarked on intelligence and technical-based investigation, supported by Sagamu Security Council under Akarigbo of Remoland.
The investigation led to the arrest of one Oweniwe Okpara from Delta State, and three of his children, identified as Samson, Bright and Eze Okpara, as well as one Christian Ishaha, who accommodated them.
Oyeyemi disclosed that they were all arrested in Ajaka area of Sagamu for their roles in the kidnap of eight persons at different times in the town and other areas.
“In the course of investigation, it was discovered that three other members of the family who were part of the criminal gang, identified as Godwin Okpara, Godspower Okpara and Mathew Okpara, are the armed squad of the syndicate, while Samson, Bright and Eze Okpara were the ones spying on their targeted victims,” the PPRO said.
He added that one Emmanuel Joseph, an native of Ebele in Edo State, was later recruited into the fold, after asking Eze Okpara to tell him the source of money they used to count everyday.
Joseph was said to have joined the family when the members opened up to him that they were into kidnap business.
The PPRO listed gang’s victims to include one Okechukwu Onwubiko, who was kidnapped on June 4, 2019; Omotayo Sobowale, abducted on June 16, 2020; and Lamidi Akeem on July 20, 2020.
Others are Mrs. Areoye Olufunke, who was kidnapped on November 3, 2020; Mrs. Adijat Adeleye, who was abducted a week after, on November 11; and Ashaye Olayinka Tobi, on November 12, by the family gang.
Thenewsbearer also learnt that Godwin, Godspower and Mathew Okpara escaped to Delta State with their operational car and arms, when they learnt of the arrest of their father and three siblings.
But they were apprehended by the Delta State Police Command after carrying out another kidnap operation in the state.
The police spokesman revealed that the gang’s den in a forest in Ayepe-ijebu, where the father used to farm before converting it to a camp, was discovered by detectives, led by the DPO Sagamu, and destroyed.
Items recovered at the camp included three expended cartridges, cooking gas, tarpaulin, cooking utensils, women bags and twine.
Expressing satisfaction at the intelligence and painstaking investigation of the detectives, the state Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun reaffirmed the command’s stance on not going back on providing adequate security for the good people of Ogun State.
Ajogun appealed for cooperation with the police by the general public, through giving useful information that would assist in eliminating criminals from the state.