John Ikechukwu Ewa, the head of a notorious kidnapping gang in Bayelsa State and a former cleaner at a new generation bank, has admitted that one of the reasons he organised the kidnapping of his former bosses was because he had been fired from the bank.
John Ewa, who was detained in Abuja and connected to several high-profile kidnapping cases that occurred recently in the state, denied being the gang’s leader and said that he was only involved to provide the location of their victims.
Ewa, also known as John Lyon, was among four members of his gang paraded by the Nigerian Police Force’s Bayelsa State Command on Monday.
But, a member of the kidnap gang, who Ewa claimed was the leader, Emmanuel Charles Angese, said every operation was planned and carried out by Ewah who is the leader of the gang and has a link to the two kidnap victims.
Angese, said that Ewa brought the deal and told them he was angry with his bosses because they sacked him from work. He also added that Ewah was the one who does the sharing of proceeds from the business.
Angese, who was arrested a month ago in Port Harcourt also denied that he isn’t the owner of the camp where they keep their victims and negotiate.
He said “Am into kidnapping, I even killed some of our victims! I don’t know the precise date but I know sometime ago last year, we did a job of kidnapping though I was not the head of the gang, I just happen to be the driver. There’s another one this year again that I was involved in.
That last year event was Akeem and Danjuma the two victims. What I was told is 45 million naira ramson from Danjuma, then Akeem 80 million.
He is part of the team, and even does the sharing of the proceeds of every operation. I don’t know anything and people in the business, am just the driver, he is the one that has the links.
According to him, in the two kidnapping incidents where he supplied information, they realized N80 million, N30 million and US Dollar equivalent of N30 million.
He said he was working with one Danjuma Omeje, a manager with new generation bank which he provided information that led to his kidnapped.
Parading the suspects, Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Ben Nobolisa Okolo, said the gang has been responsible for over ten high profile kidnaping in the State over a period of seven years.
He said: “On 8th December, 2020 one Akeem Oladele Olushola ‘m’ 48 years a Manager of a new generation Bank was kidnap at his residence at Old Commissioners Quarters Opolo, he was released on the 12th December after paying a ransom of Eighty (N80) Million Naira.
“Similarly, Danjuma Omeje 41 years a Manager of a new generation Bank in Yenagoa was kidnap at his residence at Okaka, Yenagoa, on 30th July 2022, he was released on 14th July 2022 after paying a ransom of 60 million naira. Thirty (N30) Million Naira cash and US Dollar equivalent of Thirty (N30) Million Naira.
“Operatives of Operation Restore Peace through painstaking investigation arrested the following suspects;
“Emmanuel Charles Angese ‘m’ 37 years, a native of Azuzuama Community, Southern Ijaw LGA, the leader of the kidnapping gang. He operates a kidnapping camp at Sunikiri creek near Oluasiri in Nembe Local Government Area with his second in command one Gbalipre Gamage now at large. Police operatives recovered a brand new Toyota Avalon he bought for his wife with the proceed of ransom he collected.
“The gang leader Emmanuel Charles Angase has confessed that on 30th June 2022 at about 0600 hours, himself, John Ewa and others at large accosted Danjuma Omeje at the entrance of his house at Okaka, kidnap him and fled in a Blue Toyota Corolla Car with REG NO KJA 225 AY. They took the victim to his camp at Sunikiri Oluasiri, and release him on 14th July 2022 after collecting Sixty 60 million ransom. The suspect also confessed to the kidnap of Akeem Oladele Olusola a banker and Nancy Keme Dickson, who was kidnap on 26th December 2015. He also confessed to the kidnap of Chinonso Eze and other Igbo Business men.
“John Ikechukwu Ewa ‘m’ 30 years aka John Lion, a native of Eruan Community in Boki LGA, Cross River State, known for flamboyant lifestyle on Social Media, a former cleaner with a new generation Bank, confessed to have collected Ten (10) Thousand US Dollars from the ransom collected in the kidnap of Danjuma Omeje.
“Innocent Kingsley ‘m’ 31 years, a native of Egbu Community Itche LGA, Rivers State. The owner of a Blue Toyota Corolla Car with REG NO KJA 225 AY and one Timi Werikumo ‘m’ 21 years, a native of Azuzuama Community Southern Ijaw LGA, Bayelsa State,” he said.