The Rivers state Police command Friday paraded a notorious cult leader Mitchel Tamuno and two of his gang members for alleged cult activities and kidnapping of a 14 year-old JS2, female student of a Unity School in the state.
The victim, (name withheld), was reportedly abducted on her way from evening service, April 14, 2016 around her Abuloma residence in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of the state, and was taken to Elimgbu Community in Obio/Akpor LGA of the state and where she was detained for four days.
Her captors demanded N10 million ransom from her father who is a Pastor, the sum was yet to be raised before she escaped from the kidnappers’ den, and was taken to a nearby Police station.
Her abduction and escape led to the arrest of the criminal gang which allegedly holds sway within the Trans-Amadi and Abuloma areas of the state.
Parading the criminals, spokesman of the command, Ahmad Muhammad, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), said Tamuno, leader of the dreaded Iceland cult group and his members have long terrorised the area with their criminal activities, including kidnapping and collecting of huge ransom from innocent residents, including their own relatives.
He said one of the suspects Godwin Pina, who is also the informant in several kidnap cases in the area as well as the student’s was arrested when he went to cash the sum of N50, 000 paid into their(kidnappers), account for the feeding and upkeep of their victim, pending when the ransom money would be raised and paid.
According to Muhammad four AK-47 rifle and hundreds rounds of live ammunitions were recovered from them.
He assured that peace and tranquility have returned to the area since their arrest and residents could now sleep with their two eyes closed.
He said, the Police last month arrested 70 suspected kidnappers, cultists and armed robbers across the state. A total of 25 of them were killed in a shootout with the Police, and 11 AK 47 rifles, 17 other assorted firearms and 480 different live ammunition recovered from the suspected criminals.
He assured that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as possible.
The three suspects admitted they committed the crime and expressed regrets for their negative lifestyle.
Earlier in the briefing, the Police narrated, “On April 14, 2016, a young girl of about 14 years was kidnapped while he was on her way back from Church and was taken to an uncompleted building in Elimgbu, Port Harcourt. Her captors kept her there for about four days while they were calling for ransom from her parents.
“While the kidnappers were fast asleep in the day time, the girl saw a ladder and used it to scale through the fence and escaped. She walked through the forest till she began to hear sound of vehicle and traced it to the road where she waved a vehicle to stop.
“The driver stooped and she told the driver that she escaped from kidnappers’ den and would want to contact her father, who is a pastor in Bayelsa State.
“The Good Samaritan called the victim’s father who directed that she be taken to any nearby Police station. Before then, the kidnappers had already called the victim’s demanding N10 million ransom. They equally forwarded an account detail to the victim’s father.
“One of the kidnapers (Godwin Pina) went to the bank immediately he noticed that the sum of N50, 000 had been paid into the account for the upkeep of their victim, pending when the ransom demanded would be raised. Before then, the police ensured that the account was blocked. He was arrested at the bank.
“When the suspect was arrested, he then opened up that their boss, Mitchel was staying in Okrika. Then the Anti-kidnapping unit moved to Abam in Okrika and arrested Mitchel and 10 other boys in his house. Two AK 47 rifles were recovered from him. On interrogation, he (Mitchel) said he had other two AK 47 rifles with one Iyalla Appolos somewhere in Ozuboko area of Abuloma, in Port Harcourt City local Government Area of the state. We moved in there and Iyalla was arrested and the two AK 47 rifles were recovered from him.
“Iyalla does not participate in kidnapping, but his only task is to release the guns to the gang for operations, but whenever they embark on any successful operation and are back, they give him (Iyalla), part of the ransom.”
“Muhammad continued, Pina confessed that the kidnap gang also planned and executed a female oil mogul in the same Abuloma area and collected N9 million ransom.
“They also disclosed that Mitchel’s Toyota Camry was always used to move their kidnap victims, including one Chief Ajie from Abuloma and Pina’s Uncle’s wife also. Pina gave information to kidnappers for his uncle’s wife to be kidnapped. N5 million was paid before she was released,” he said.