By Adejoke Adeleye, Abeokuta
A family of seven has been arrested for alleged kidnapping in Shagamu area of Ogun by the State Police Command.
The Okpara family were alleged to have been involved in major kidnappings in Sagamu axis, and they were arrested with the support of the security of Akarigbo of Sagamu.
Ogun State Police Command’s spokesperson, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi in a statement in Abeokuta, revealed that based on the kidnapped cases in 2020 in Sagamu and it environs, the Commissioner of Police, Edward Awolowo Ajogun gave a marching order to the Area Commander and all the DPO in Shagamu to fish out those behind the dastardly act within the shortest possible period.
In compliance with the CP’s directive, the DPO, Shagamu Division CSP Okiki Agunbiade and his crack detectives, with the support of Shagamu security council under Akarigbo of Remo land embarked on intelligence and technical based investigation, which led to the arrest of one Oweniwe Okpara from Delta State and three of his children namely: Samson Okpara, Bright Okpara and Eze Okpara as well as one Christian Ishaha who accommodated them.
They were all arrested in Ajaka area of Shagamu for their alleged roles in the kidnap of eight persons at different times in Shagamu and other areas.
In the course of investigation, it was discovered that three other members of the family allegedly constituted the criminal gang namely: Godwin Okpara, Godspower Okpara and Mathew Okpara.
They were said to be the armed squad of the syndicate, while Samson, Bright and Eze Okpara were the one spying on their targeted victims.
One Emmanuel Joseph, a native of Ebele in Edo State was later recruited into the fold, having confronted their sister Eze Okpara to tell him the source of money they used to count everyday.
They subsequently opened up to him that they were into kidnapping business and he also joined them.
According to the statement, the family was able to kidnap one Okechukwu Onwubiko who was kidnapped on the 4th of June 2019; Omotayo Sobowale on the 16th of June, 2020, while one Lamidi Akeem was abducted by the same gang on the 20th of July, 2020.
On the 3rd of November 2020, the gang kidnapped Mrs. Areoye Olufunke, and barely a week after, on the 11th of November 2020, they abducted another person, Mrs. Adijat Adeleye and Ashaye Olayinka Tobi was also kidnapped on the 12th of November by this dreaded gang.
Having heard about the arrest of their father and their three siblings, Godwin, Godspower and Mathew Okpara took to flight and ran to Delta State with their operational car and their arms where they were subsequently apprehended by the Delta State Police Command after carrying out another kidnapping there.
Their camp located at a forest in Ayepe-Ijebu where their father used to farm before converting it to a camp was located by policemen led by the DPO of Shagamu and subsequently destroyed.
Items recovered at the camp include; three expended cartridges, cooking gas, tarpaulin, cooking utensils, women bags and twine.
CP Ajogun, who expressed satisfaction with the intelligence and painstaking investigation of the detectives has reiterated the stand of the command not to relent in accomplishing the onerous task of providing adequate security for the good people of Ogun State.
He, therefore, appealed for cooperation of the public in giving useful information that would assist in eliminating criminals from the entire state.