Pauline Onyibe, Yenagoa
The Department of State Services (DSS) in Bayelsa State on Friday arrested a 43-year-old Prophet, Kingsley Jeremiah Amos and three others over an alleged attempt to kidnap and sending life threatening text messages to the Chairman of the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, Uroupaye Nimizuoa.
Others arrested alongside the Prophet were 38-year-old ICT expert, Philip Anayo Okorie, an indigene of Akanu Community in Ohaffia Local Government area of Abia State, 37-year-old Spiritualist, Tari Erigi, from Okordia-Zarama community of Yenagoa Local Government, and one 35-year-old woman, Nsikan Umoh Sunday from AKwa Ibom State.
The DSS, while parading the suspects in Yenagoa, alleged that sequel to the receipt of a petition on alleged threat of kidnap of the Chairman of the Yenagoa Local Government Council, Uroupaye Nimizuoa, his mother and members of his family by an unknown mobile phone number, investigation led to the arrest of the four suspects.
According to the DSS Deputy Director of Operations, Femi Shotayo: “The arrested suspects were led by the ICT expert, Philip Okorie with his allege involvement in the illegal tracking of the GSM numbers for commercial purposes and in connivance with his syndicate took advantage of his relationship with the victim and fraudulently initiated life threatening calls including threat to kidnap on the victims using unknown GSM numbers in a bid to extort the victim.
“Okorie was eventually arrested by operatives of the service in Abia State. And Amos, who paraded himself as a clergy manand prophet before the victim, collaborated with his Mistress/wife, one Nsikan Umoh Sunday, female, 35years, and threatened to kidnap the victim. Findings further showed that the threat was aimed at compelling their victim to contract them for prayers in exchange for money. They were apprehended in Calabar and both have confessed to the crime.
“Also arrested was a 37-year-old Tari Erigi, who is a spiritualists and ally of the Council Chairman who sent a threat of kidnap to the victim in order to extort money from the later. Meanwhile, all the suspects have voluntarily confessed to the crime under investigation, just as exhibits linking the suspects with the crime have been recovered.”
Confirming the incident, the Yenagoa Local Government Chairman, Nimizuoa, said he had to alert the security agencies over the alleged threat by the arrested suspects due to a March 5, 2020 experience in which his mother, Madam Betty Nimizoua, was abducted by unidentified gunmen.
One of the suspects, Philip Okorie, however, denied the charges of attempted kidnapping brought against him, claiming that he has a 12-year working relationship with the Nigerian Police as an independent Data/Phone calls analysts involved in locating kidnappers and their victims.