Thursday, 29 August 2013

Crime Alert- Kidnappers Sprang Up Attack In Delta State, With Over 20 Lectures Abducted In Its University

 DELSU, Abraka, Delta State in the past few months as been experiencing a shocking wave of abduction of lecturers by suspected kidnappers.
 Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Mordi said that lecturers were particularly disturbed, as educators are not millionaires, but the gunmen keep attacking them.

In the last two years, he said over 20 members had been abducted, but what has troubled the academic community more in recent times, was the kidnap of a lecturer of Department of Science Education, Dr. (Mrs.) Mercy Mokobia, from her nuptial home in Obiaruku, since April 9 without trace by the Police.

Indeed, during his visit to the university, some months ago, the vice-chancellor, Professor Eric Arubayi, told Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, that the university was under siege.
Mordi said in most of the previous kidnap cases, it was demand for ransom by abductors, after which the
victims regained freedom.

However, in Dr. Mokobia’s case, they demanded, it was paid, yet, she was not released.
He said: “Lecturers have their hearts in their mouths because we do not know who will be kidnapped next and nobody is comfortable doing his work here.

“As a matter of fact, the academic staff of DELSU are demanding the release of their colleague; we are going to embark on a fresh strike after the current nationwide strike action to protest the failure of the police to secure her release.

“We are not safe here if some gunmen can come to the home of our colleague and kidnap her and for almost five months, the police have no answer to her whereabouts, that is our plight, we are lecturers, we are not politicians, our duty is to teach students and do research, why are kidnappers after us.
“Academics are not money bags but law abiding, knowledgeable citizens who sacrifice day and night, all their comfort to impact knowledge and skills to Nigerian youths so as to equip them to become useful members of the society who can perpetuate human civilization.”
How gunmen abducted Mokobia
Gunmen kidnapped Dr. (Mrs.) Mokobia, whose husband, Prof. Mokobia, is also a staff of the university, between 12.00 am and 1.00 am, Tuesday, April 9, in Obiaruku. They broke into their residential apartment.
The couple was reportedly sleeping when the hoodlums struck in a commando style and took away the female lecturer. They contacted the family two days after the incident through a close associate demanding N20 million ransom for her release.
According to Dr. Mordi, “They robbed the family after which they took her along on foot to an unknown destination. Her whereabouts has since remained unknown
“Until her kidnap, there was a lull in the kidnapping of our members and their spouses, which gave lecturers at DELSU a false sense of security.”
A security source said: “It is either an insider or somebody that knows the family was involved in the kidnap because they robbed the family and still abducted her.”
The source stated: “In fact, an artisan who has worked for the family before is believed to be working with the kidnappers.”

“Some 12 hours before the incident, some motor cycle, popularly known as Okada riders were seen near the vicinity of the Mokobias discharging some unidentified passengers,” our source added.
Following security report on the activities of kidnappers in the area, who found it easy operating with motorcycles, the state government, after the incident, banned the use of Okada for commercial transportation in Abraka, Kokori and other parts of Ethiope East Local Government.
Police not sleeping on the matter

Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, said that he understands the plight of the lecturers and like any other kidnap case; the police were not sleeping on the matter.
He said the police spread their dragnet but the kidnappers initially went underground and the police did not get useful information.

It was gathered that when police got information that the kidnappers had told the husband of the victim to pay ransom, they marked the money and urged him to play along.
His words: “The Special Anti-Kidnapping Unit and tracking team tracked the gang to a house at Uremu Road, Ozoro. The suspected kidnappers upon sighting the squad, opened fire and in the hot exchange of gunfire that ensued, one of the suspects later identified as Vote Michael suffered fatal gunshots, while three female suspects were arrested.”

Two persons, including the kingpin of the gang escaped on that day, while police recovered the N1.2 million ransom, a locally made pistol and 50 rounds of cartridges.
Police trailed and arrested the fleeing leader of the gang in Kogi State, as well as a pastor, but none could tell her whereabouts.

At a stage, about 11 persons, including a pastor, were seized in connection with Mokobia’s abduction. Nevertheless, nobody would say where she was or what happened to her.
In keeping with the anti-kidnapping law of the state government, the building in which the gang was believed to have detained Dr. Mokobia before she was moved to an unknown location was demolished.
Aduba told Vanguard that the husband of the kidnapped lecturer was around when the police was asking one of the suspects, a pastor, the whereabout of his wife, but he said nothing.

“Yes, we are still investigating the matter; we cannot sweep it under the carpet. Sometime ago, I heard that ASUU people in Abraka were saying something about not understanding our role. I visited the university and took time to explain to them what we have done, including how we traced the ransom to a suspected kidnappers den in Ozoro and arrested some persons.”

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