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The suspected leader of kidnap gangs in Abia State, Obioma Nwankwo, popularly known as Osisikankwu, was yesterday killed by the military task force deployed to the state by the federal government. The news of his killing led to wild jubilation among residents of Aba and Umuahia. His death marked another success in the efforts of the military task force to rid the state of gangs that have made life difficult for the people of the state and almost destroyed social and economic activities in the area. Deputy army public relations officer and spokesperson of the task force, Sagir Musa, confirmed the death of Mr. Nwankwo yesterday. He said the alleged kidnapper was shot dead at Obokwe market, in Ukwa West Local Government Council, by a joint police and military patrol team.

A broken myth..

Mr. Musa said that the military had laid an ambush for the kidnapper for some days after they learnt of his presence in the bush near the market. The kidnapper’s killing brought to an end a myth surrounding him in Aba that the man could neither be caught nor killed. The commissioner of police in Abia State, Jonathan Johnson, also told NEXT that the body of the gang leader will be displayed to reassure residents of the state that he was truly dead.

Another source said the task force got closer to Mr Nwankwo two days ago when his accomplice who used to supply him arms was arrested. After his arrest, arms including two GPMGs, three RPG bombers, 20 pieces of RPG bombs, 93 empty magazines of AK47 guns, 150 litre keg filled with live ammunition and eight pieces of AK47 guns, were recovered from the accomplice. Mr. Musa said last night that the body of the notorious kidnapper had been taken to Umuahia to be shown to government officials and would be publicly paraded today in the city. Hundreds of people trooped to the military barracks in Aba last night waiting to see the body, but they left disappointed when the body was not presented. Mr Nwankwo, who was arrested a few months ago, was inexplicably released by the police and since then, had tormented the people, who ascribed daredevil abilities to him. Mr Musa described Osisikankwu’s killing as a landmark achievement of the military operations in the state and promised that the task force will not relent until it flushes out the remaining kidnappers in the area.

State of anarchy

Kidnapping in Abia State reached new heights on July 11th when four journalists and their driver were kidnapped on their way from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, after attending the National Executive Council meeting of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. Among the journalists was Wahab Alabi Oba, the chairman of the Lagos State Council of the NUJ. The Senate president, David Mark, subsequently demanded that a state of emergency be declared in the state. He also advocated the application of ‘jungle solution’ to the rising level of kidnappings and armed robbery to serve as a deterrent to others, saying the rule of law could not be applied in a jungle situation. Senior officials of the International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) were invited by the federal government to help track down the kidnappers. The journalists were later released although an initial ransom demand of N250 million was not paid...

A few days before the nation’s 50th independence anniversary, gunmen seized 15 primary school children on their way to school. The abductors had contacted the owner of the private school and demanded a N20 million ransom before the children could be released. However, the students were set free on the day of the nation’s independence anniversary. Mr. Nwankwo’s gang was reportedly responsible for the kidnappings.

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Comment by Osuji Chibuzor Happiness on December 16, 2010 at 10:30am
tank God pple in Abia State will nw ve peace.
Comment by Monique Lawrence on December 15, 2010 at 4:04pm

at last the spirit of those that lost their lives in the hand of this beast can now rest in peace.

Comment by Gabriel Edem Archibong on December 14, 2010 at 1:53pm

This man's sins are so base that even in heaven God, would ensure a distance of 7km radius between him and this monster of creation before asking him to defend himself of his crimes/sins while on earth. I know as his first defence, this bastard will attempt to blame the Nigerian Govt for not providing enough jobs with jumbo pay packages. If this fails, he will then switch to the favourite one - that it was the DEVIL that deceived him. Funny thing though is that, he will still plead for mercy before a merciful and just God. Can u beat that people?   

Comment by Moses K Tawose on December 14, 2010 at 7:17am

What was the explanation of his girlfriend knowing what his boyfriend was doing while alive and what did she do to discouraged him or his family for such a lifestyle. She shouldn't be crying nor his family because they're all beneficiary to lifestyle instead of prevailing over him when he was alive. Credit is giving to the Nigerian Forces to fish him out and for killing him,but his is one in how many that are still out there.

Comment by Smart Smart on December 14, 2010 at 2:51am

Thank God Almighty and well done Military

Comment by Engr. Joseph O.E. Enemali on December 14, 2010 at 1:59am

Abia police command may have been benefiting from the largess of the kinpin. Therefore Abia police commissioner should be investigated and sanctioned appropriately

Comment by Kehinde Oke on December 13, 2010 at 4:41pm

I bet you some high ranking officers in the Nigerian police were benefiting from his larger than life story and criminal activities. I bet they knew his where about all the while.

Comment by JAANE JAAN on December 13, 2010 at 1:52pm

Thats a good job but it wont end these vices as long as we do not reposition our police force in total, get someone lik Nuhu Ribadu to head the force, inculcate discipline and sprit of total commitment- if not for fame at least for fear of defamative punishment. Without achieving this in our police force, no vice will be tackled or at least controlled in permanence.

Comment by Justin on December 13, 2010 at 12:22pm
The Girlfriend
Comment by Justin on December 13, 2010 at 12:21pm

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