I Kidnap People To Raise Money For My Girlfriend’s Bride Price –Suspect

Uzordima Chukwudi, 29, was a lotto operator before he took
to kidnapping, a trade he was into before he was arrested by the Inspector General
of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, led by CSP Abba Kyari.
Chukwudi was arrested alongside some other members of the
group, including Joseph Chiaotu, aka Ejima, 21, Anozie Chinonso, 25 and
27-year-old Chukwuma Agim, who is a prison official, in connection with the
kidnap of a woman in Imo State.
Speaking to journalists during the week, Chukwudi said he
was studying Mechanical Engineering at Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Imo State
before he dropped out in his final year. “What led me into kidnapping was
unfortunate,” he said.

He explained that the pressure to raise the bride price of
his pregnant girlfriend lured him into the crime. He said, “My girlfriend is
pregnant and I have been under pressure to pay her bride price but I had no
money. She told me that since she became pregnant her mother had been
ostracised by her fellow women in their village. The pressure was too much that
I needed to look for money by all means.”
On how he came across the other suspects, Chukwudi explained
that when the pressure became unbearable, he contacted two of his friends;
Nnamdi, who is now in prison, and Chiboy, who later introduced him to Agim for
the trade.
He said, “Agim, being a prison official, was the one making
way for us whenever we approached a police check point but our first operation
was not successful because the person we targeted escaped. But on the second
operation, Chiboy went with a policeman and they kidnapped the woman.”
He said for his involvement in the deal and for taking food
to the victim in the bush, he was given N100,000 as his share. He said, “Chiboy
told me that he got only N1.1m from the woman but when we were arrested, the
woman told us she paid N3m as ransom. The moment I got my own share, I gave my
girlfriend part of it to start the preparation (for the wedding) while I went
to the market to buy drinks. That was when I got a call from Agim and when I
met him I was arrested.”
Agim, a prison official from Imo State who said he was lured
into the trade by an inmate, Nnamdi, told journalists that even though he was
able to buy clothes, settle his debts and fix his car with his N100,000 share
in the ransom paid by the victim’s family, he regrets his involvement in the
He recalled that when he was posted to the Owerri prison,
his mother, who was also serving in the prison, warned him to be wary of one
inmate, named Vampire, and his friends so as not to get into trouble. He
maintained that he was reluctant when Nnamdi approached him but that he later
found the offer attractive.
He said they used to work with a policeman and that on the
day they went to pick their victim, a woman, she wasn’t the main the target but
she was traced to her house where she was picked.
“It was Nnamdi who called me to and look after the woman in
the bush. I borrowed money from a friend and used it to buy food for the woman.
I gave the food to Uzordima to give to the woman. I learnt the woman stayed for
two days. I was given N100, 000 after the N1.1m ransom was collected. I bought
clothes, settled my debt and fixed my car.
He said he was arrested few days after the operation. “It
was Ejima who led them to me. I regret getting myself into this mess he
lamented,” he added.
On his part, Ejima said his share of the ransom was N70,000,
out of which he used N10,000 to buy shoes and clothes. “I don’t know how the
police heard about what I did; they came after me and arrested me. I led the
police to arrest the prison official and four other members of the gang, but we
were unable to arrest Chiboy. He noticed the presence of the police and he
attempted to escape. He ran into the bus and the police fired several shots at
him but he wasn’t hit.
Chinonso, who also hailed from Imo State, said poverty led
him into kidnapping. “All I was looking for was a little money to buy a bus on
hire purchase because the one I had got spoilt. I met Ejima recently and I told
him I needed assistance because I had no job. He promised he would help me.”

He explained that he participated in the kidnap and that his
share was N100,000 but that he was arrested when he was about hiring a bus. “It
was poverty that led me into this crime. I am a very poor person struggling for
myself and my family. I have no one helping me and my mother is a very old
woman. I pray this woman (the victim) and her family would forgive me, he said.

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