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Controversy trails seized property, cash of E-Money, late kidnap kingpin

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Imo police kills most wanted armed robber

Controversy is currently trailing the seizure of property and cash belonging to a suspected kidnapper, Collins Ezenwa, popularly known as E-Money, who was killed during a gun battle with policemen attached to Imo State Command in January last year. This followed allegations by widow of the late kidnap kingpin that operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, had converted her late husband’s property and cash to their personal use, as well as a report which went viral, accusing head of the unit, DCP Abbah Kyari, of illegally depleting late Ezenwa’s assets.

Police Police Late Ezenwa, 31, was a Police Corporal, until November 2017. He was alleged to have coordinated several kidnaps and robberies in Imo, Abia, Enugu and Rivers states and was on the verge of kidnapping a South African-based businessman, when he was confronted by the Police.

Thirteen of his property scattered across the South-East were traced by the IRT operatives. They included a hotel in Enugu State, seven others in Owerri and Okigwe areas of Imo State and one in Aba, Abia State. Also, seven cars, two Sports Utility Vehicles, one Hilux truck, a commercial bus, two tipper-lorries and a trailer truck were recovered at several locations within the South-East, by the operatives. He was nicknamed E-Money owing to what was described as his stupendous wealth and generosity.

However, an online medium quoted the Nigeria Human Rights Commission, NHRC, and Amnesty International of accusing the IRT of gross human rights abuses and illegal expropriation of suspected proceeds of crime. The report alleged that De-Inglish Hotels and Resort in Enugu, owned by the deceased kidnapper and estimated at N220 million, was taken over by the IRT, adding that it had been receiving proceeds of lodging and other services in private bank accounts.

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It further alleged that eight blocks of flats on 21, Edinburgh Road, New Layout, Enugu, which was also linked to late Ezenwa, was being managed by the police squad. Furthermore, the report mentioned Tochukwu Okeke and Ozougwu Stanislaus , as account holders of two bank accounts which the NHRC alleged earnings from the hotel and flats were being paid into.

IRT reacts In a swift reaction to the allegations, Commander, IRT, DCP Abba Kyari, described them as unverified lies by widow of the deceased kidnapper. Kyari said: “We have nothing to do with a private account carrying names of people from the South -East, flaunted by the kidnapper’s wife. In this BVN era, bank accounts can easily be investigated and cash movements and owners can easily be traced and arrested for questioning.

“They are all lies from the wife of a kidnap kingpin, who we refused to negotiate with. The family of the kidnapper begged to settle with us but we refused and they vowed to spend money to spoil our names, as all their efforts to transfer the case out of our office failed.

“They now went to a media outfit that is not ready to verify the authenticity of the stories from the kidnapper’s wife who jumped bail given to her on compassionate ground because of her baby. “She has vowed to enjoy the proceeds of her late kidnapper husband’s crime as if there are no laws in this country. We are suing the media outfit for linking our names to some fictitious/unknown accounts carrying names of people from the South -East. “I have never seen those accounts and they will tell the court why they are linking me to an account I know nothing about.

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“Moreover, all the exhibits which included 13 houses, 13 vehicles and N100 million cash, we froze in the late kidnap kingpin’s bank account, using court order, are intact, while motion for their forfeiture to the Federal Government is before the Owerri High Court. “We are not relenting.

We are used to this type of baseless accusations/lies coming when uncompromising officers are handling cases of billionaire kidnappers like this. Everybody saw the lies from Evans billionaire kidnapper, his lawyers and wife. “The moment you refuse to negotiate with them, they will sponsor lies against you in anger. Had we agreed to negotiate with the family of the dead kidnap kingpin, nobody would have heard of this case. “We have nothing to hide, we want anybody or organisation to investigate this matter and see the truth.

” More revelations Meanwhile, sources at the IRT, disclosed yesterday, that operatives who were on E-Money’s trail before he was gunned down, had earlier apprehended him during a robbery operation in Owerri, Imo State, alongside some bankers and a real estate agent working for him.

The source explained that IRT operatives discovered that E-Money also had links to a notorious robbery gang which specialised in hijacking oil vessels on the high seas and selling off its products to waiting buyers. It was gathered one of his friends identified simply as Onyekere, had advised him(E-money) to quit his police job and travel out of the country to avoid suspicion.

Vanguard learned that E-Money left his police job, travelled out of the country for weeks and when he returned, bought a hotel in Enugu and also made a deposit of N100 million into a fixed deposit account, to which his wife was also a signatory.

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The source said: “We commenced our investigations into the activities of this criminal in October 2017, while he was a policeman, after one Emmanuel and David Ofong were kidnapped along Nsukka-Kogi Road, Enugu by a gang of kidnappers and a ransom of $2 million was paid for the release of one of the victims, David Ofong, while the kidnappers held on to Emmanuel Ofong, demanding for additional money.

“We went into the case and through the aid of advance technology we were able to establish that E-money was the man behind the kidnapping but we had difficulty arresting him then because he was always moving in and out of the country.

“Shockingly, we heard, in 2018 that he has been killed alongside two members of his gang. But since Chief Emmanuel Ofong, who he kidnapped was still missing, we continued our case with the hope of arresting other members of his gang. “In the process, we arrested a banker working for him and he informed us that his wife had a fixed deposit account credited with N100 million. We also arrested a property agent, who assisted him in buying his property.”

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Crime & Court

El-Zakzaky’s trial resumes in Kaduna amidst tight security

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As the trial of embattled Leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El- Zakzaky resumes today, security has been beefed up across  Kaduna state capital

El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat are facing an 8-count charge by the Kaduna state government over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among others.

Also, Justice Gideon Kurada, who is the Presiding Judge had during the last sitting on March 26, 2019, adjourned the case indefinitely following his appointment to serve as a member of the Elections Petitions Tribunal in Yobe state.

Due to the absence of the trial judge during the last sitting on March 26, El-Zakzkay’s lawyer, Femi Falana, expressed concern , stating that his clients were in dire need of medical attention, the reason they could not appear in court.

While addressing  Journalists, Falana alleged that his clients have not been given adequate medical care since December 14, 2015, when they were detained.

Due to the resumed trial of Elzakzaky and his wife today, all major roads leading to the Kaduna state High Court Complex have been cordoned off by security operatives. Security is also beefed up at the court premises, to avert to the breakdown of law and order, especially with the recent violent protests by IMN members in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

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Crime & Court

NANS  petitions EFCC, seeks investigation of alleged financial mismanagement in UI {See Petition}

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The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Oyo State chapter, has  demanded a comprehensive investigation into the allegations of financial misappropriation, mismanagement and extortion by the management of the University of Ibadan (UI), Mega Icon Magazine exclusively gathered.

 

The association  led by its Chairman, Comrade Asubiojo Olujuwon Marshal, in a petition submitted on Tuesday at the Ibadan Office of the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) called for thorough investigation of its allegations and  subsequent prosecution.

Contained in the petition,  NANS accused the management of the University of Ibadan (UI) of continued collection of a compulsory students’ union levy of N200 for two consecutive sessions after the students’ union was summarily suspended by the same management, wondering where such sums now accumulating into millions of Naira has ended up, as the fee is being charged both from postgraduate and undergraduate students.

Another issue raised in the petition, also of paramount interest was the Identity Card (I.D Card Issue) which it said was only resolved recently.

“An incident that saw students not issued ID cards for two full sessions and when the issuance was eventually done, an entire session was fraudulently by passed as students only received ID cards for the last session, and not the one before. Also, several students graduated within this period without receiving these I.D cards, and as the time of this petition, we have no knowledge of any refund system to address this.

“Equally worthy of your due reference and attention is the very suspicious technology fee, which was levied on students for the 2019/2020 session for the first time. The said fee is being charged at the sum of N6,500  per student and yet key members of the university management have declined that such is meant for the provision of internet facilities. It is instead claimed that such fee is only meant for “Portal access”. Please note that the same “Portal access” was previously charged at just N2,500. We wonder what new technology is being developed to warrant an increment of over 200%.

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“Furthermore, despite the fact that students are still being charged every session for the issuance of the students information handbook, as attached school receipt indicates, no issuance of such, either by hand, post or any known means has been done in the last five sessions. This is surely a  blatant case of extortion and should be duly addressed.

“In our capacity as the voice of Nigerian students in Oyo state, we are  appalled and aggrieved that such referenced atrocities of corruption are being nonchalantly displayed in the premier university, and we trust that you will not just look into this petition”.

NANS, however called for thorough and credible investigation of the allegations by the anti-graft body without minding whose ox was gored in the interest of justice and fairness.

 

 

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Crime & Court

IMO: Police Parade Suspected Killer Of Ex-Corps Member

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Imo State Police Command on Monday arrested one Chukwuemeka Eze for allegedly raping and killing a 27-year-old female, Lilian Mgbanwa, who just completed her National Youth Service Corps.

Eze, who hails from Mgbidi in Oru West Local Government Area of the state, was paraded by the Force Public relations Officer, Frank Mba, at the Police Command Headquarters in Owerri, the state capital.

The police spokesman informed that Eze was arrested after an indigene of the community hinted  the police.

Mba, also disclosed that the suspect has so far confirmed to have committed the crime and also taken the police to the scene where the remains of the victim were buried.

According to the force’s publicist, “Not only did Chukwuemeka Eze rape the innocent young woman at the end of that sexual assault, he also went ahead to cover his crime by murdering the innocent woman.

“But like we have always told people, there are no perfect crimes anywhere in the world.”

“After committing the crime, the suspect was said to have taken the victim’s phone to a shop where he intended to charge it.

“A very observant Nigerian who owns the shop looked at Chukwuemeka Eze who had brought this phone to his shop and was very convinced from his character, that he probably may not be the owner of the phone.

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“As soon as Emeka turned his back, this very patriotic Nigerian turned on the phone and the first call that came was from a blood relative of the murdered female who requested to speak to her sister.

“It was in the course of that conversation that it became very clear that Emeka was not the owner of the phone”, Mba narrated

 

 

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