A combined team of the operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) and the Nigerian Army have rescued three kidnap victims from a shrine in Anambra State.
Director of the SSS in the state, Alexander Okeiyi, disclosed this yesterday while speaking at a press briefing in Awka.
According to him, the victims who were chained, were rescued in the shrine located in a forest in Umuobi village, Awkuzu in Oyi Local Government Area of the state.
He added that they were rescued from the hideout of the kidnappers led by Ifeanyi Nwaezeaga, a prophet operating the Unchangeable God Miracle Church beside the shrine.
Those rescued, he said, were Solomon Okonkwo, Monday Osagie and Udenwa Ikedibe.
It was learnt that the kidnappers had demanded from their families the sums of N20 million, N50 million and N10 million respectively for their release.
“Mr Amaechi Oraekie, 35, from Awkuzu in Oyi local council area of Anambra State, who was allegedly taken to the shrine by his family members for elimination over land dispute, was also rescued.
“Preliminary investigation showed that the gang was responsible for the kidnap of Reverend James Achugbu of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Umunachi in Dunukofia on February, 2003,” he added.
A Nissan Sunny car with registration number AV 112 AWK belonging to another victim, Mr Princewill Abian, who was released on 20 February 2013, after payment of N100,000 ransom, was recovered.
Among the other items recovered, were the prophet’s Nissan Jeep with registration number HAL 284 AA, four motorcycles, one generator, one dane gun and an international passport of a suspected kidnap victim.
Okeiyi further said that seven suspects, comprising five males and two females, were arrested during the rescue operation.