Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Police in Asaba, Delta State, have arrested two men in connection with alleged kidnapping and hostage taking of an Egyptian engineer, Mr. Reda Hasanin.
The victim was reportedly lured from Egypt on the pretense of coming to Nigeria to seal a contract by a kidnapping syndicate led by one self-styled businessman identified simply as Sunny. The rescue and subsequent arrest of the two suspects was made possible following the alarm raised by residents of the area.
Although, the police have expressed appreciation to residents of the neighbourhood for calling police attention to strange happenings in their area, the main police informant has practically been on the run for fear of possible reprisal attack as some of the suspects were still at large.
However, THISDAY learnt that the wife and children of the informant and other occupants of the house where the informant resides have deserted the house while the informant has not been spending nights there, since the police raided the place.
The whistle blower also said that his fears arose when he began receiving several calls from people who know him, advising him to relocate from the area, which is located near Okpanam, next to Asaba.
Narrating the incident, the chief informant said that last Sunday morning, he heard someone shouting for help and became worried when the shouting persisted, prompting him to move in the direction of the strange voice.
According to him, locating the building where the shout was coming from, he met some people from the neighborhood who had gathered, wondering what was happening in the building.
He said one of the suspects came out and told them that it was “a family affair”, claiming that it was his younger brother who had gone to Europe and returned with nothing after the family had spentover two million naira on him.
The informant further revealed that he personally insisted on seeing the brother but that the suspect pleaded for time; and later came out with someone he claimed was his brother to meet them shouting.
Unsatisfied with the explanation, the informant alerted the police who found the Egyptian already unconscious and in a pool of blood apparently from injury he sustained on his head for daring to shout for help. He was however resuscitated by the police and taken to hospital for treatment.
The Acting Spokesman of the Delta State Police Command, ASP ChuksOrisewezie, confirmed the rescue of the Egyptian national, noting that the case had been transferred to the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
Meanwhile, the informant, Anthony Ibe, has cried out to well-meaning Nigerians to come to his aid to enable him relocate from the area as he felt unsafe because of the role he played in the rescue of the victim. He said his life is in danger as a result of the role he played in the rescue of the Egyptian.
“As I am talking with you now, my wife and children have left home for fear of being attacked because these suspects are connected. I believe their members are everywhere and everybody in the area already know I played a major role in the rescue and I also called the police,” he said.