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Revealed: Ozekhome Paid N40m to Regain Freedom from Kidnappers


News » Politics
Nigeria

June.10.2014

A Lagos-based legal practitioner, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), actually paid N40 million to those who kidnapped him in August last year before he was released.

Similarly, a former commissioner in Delta State, Professor Hope Eghagha, who was also kidnapped on September 30th, 2012 on his way from Warri to Asaba, paid N7 million to his kidnappers before he was released.
The charges filed at the Federal High Court against the man who masterminded the kidnapping of several people within Edo and Delta States, Mr. Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, showed that Ozekhome paid N40 million in United States dollars before he regained his freedom.

This and more were contained in the 14-count charge filed against Eziegbe and two of his co-accused, namely, Frank Auekor and Michael Omonigho.

They were accused of committing terrorism, murder, hostage taking and other sundry offences all punishable under the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011.

Count 9 of the charge reads: “That you Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, Frank Azuekor and others at large on or about August 23rd, 2013 committed an act of terrorism to wit: Kidnapped Mike Ozekhome (SAN), at Iruekpen, on his way to Iviukwe, Agenebode, and shot and killed four policemen, namely Paul Sunday Ajaka (ASP), Sunday Ewanshita (Inspector), Michael Akpada (Inspector) and Balary Kong (Inspector), and you demanded and compelled him to pay a ransom of N40 million which were paid to you in US dollars before you released Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1(2)(f) and Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 as amended.”

They were also charged with conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism to wit kidnapping of persons, accessory to an act of terrorism, inciting persons to commit act of terrorism recruitment, escape and abetting escape, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 17 of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, as amended. The offences were committed between 2010 and 2013.

Count two charges the suspect with the murder of policemen. It reads: “That you Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, Frank Azuekor and others at large between 2010 and October 2013 at Delta State, conspired to commit a terrorist act to wit Murder in the shooting and killing of 5 police officers namely, Paul Sunday Ajaka (ASP), Sunday Ewanshiha (Inspector), Michael Akpada (Inspector), Bakary Kong (Inspector) and Innocent Odo (Sgt) and two prison officials, namely, Lawrence Edore (Inspector) and Oyibo Okoye (SPA), while they were on official duties and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 17 of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, as amended.”

When the charges were read to them before Justice Adeniyi Ademola, they all pleaded not guilty.
Subsequently, the oral application made by their counsel, Bala Dakum, to secure bail for them was rejected by the court, which instead ruled that the suspects be remanded in the custody of the State Security Services (SSS) till the next adjourned date of July 1.

Justice Ademola further ordered the SSS to allow the suspects access to their counsel, pending the commencement of their trial.

In count three, it was alleged that “Kelvin Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor, and five others now at large between 2010 and October 2013, at Delta State, committed a terrorist act to wit: Intentional murder in the shooting and killing of five police officers, namely, Paul Ajaka, (ASP) Sunday Ewanshiha, (Inspector), Michael Akpada, (Inspector), Bakary Kong (Ispector) on the 23rd of August 2013 at Iruekpen on the Benin-Auchi Road; and Sgt Innocent Odoh on the 30th of September, 2012 on Warri-Asaba Road; and Inspector Lawrence Edore and SPA Oyibo Okoye on the13th of March 2013 in Warri, while they were on official duties and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1 of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended.

“That you Kelvin Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor, and five others now at large between 2010 and October 2013, at Delta State, conspired to commit a terrorist act to wit: Hostage taking for the purpose of compelling the payment of ransom and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 17 of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, as amended.”

Count five reads: “Kelvin Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor, and five others now at large between 2010 and October 2013, at Delta State and Edo State did commit a terrorist act to wit: Hostage taking in that by force of arms you took hostage Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), Prof Hope Eghagha, Attanasius Ugbome, Emmanuel Omorogbe, and others and compelled their relatives to pay various sums of money as ransom which you received before their release, and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 15(1) of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended.”

The federal government among other charges alleged “that Kelvin Eziegbe and Frank Azuekor, and five others now at large on or about the 23rd of August, 2013 committed an act of terrorism to wit: Kidnapped Mike Ozekhome SAN, at Iruekpen, on his way to Iviukwe, Agenbode, and shot at and killed four police men, namely, ASP Paul Ajaka, Insp. Sunday Ewanshiha, Insp. Michael Akpada, Insp. Bakary Kong, and you demanded and compelled him to pay a ransom of forty million naira (40 million) which were paid to you in US dollars before you released Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and you thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 1(2)(f) of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, as amended."

 
 
Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago
 

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