The Department of State Services (DSS) has arrested Kingsley Jeremiah Amos, a 43-year-old self-proclaimed prophet over his alleged roles in the attempted kidnap of Hon. Uroupaye Nimizuoa, Chairman of the Yenagoa Local Government Area in Bayelsa State.
Also arrested by the DSS operatives were 38-year-old ICT expert Philip Anayo Okorie, an indigene of Akanu in Ohaffia Local Government Area of Abia State, 37 years old Spiritualist, Tari Erigi, from Okordia-Zarama community, Yenagoa Local Government Area, and a woman, Nsikan Umoh Sunday age 35 from Akwa Ibom State, all said to be involved in the kidnap attempt.
They were arrested by DSS operatives from the Yenegoa Command.
The DSS Deputy Director of Operations, Femi Shotayo explained while parading the suspects that the arrest followed a petition filed by Hon Nimizuoa over threats by some unidentified persons to kidnap him and members of his family.
He narrated that the local government boss had been getting threats from some unknown/hidden numbers attempting to extort money from him but the suspects were arrested following investigations by DSS operatives into the development.
Shotayo said the arrested suspects who have all confessed to the crime, were led by the ICT expert, Philip Okorie with his alleged 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 and prophet before the victim, collaborated with his mistress/wife, one Nsikan Umoh Sunday, female, 35 years, 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 spiritualist 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.”
Explaining his side of the story, the Chairman of Yenagoa Local Government Area, Hon. Nimizuoa, narrated that he had to involve the security operatives after his mother, Madam Betty Nimizoua, was abducted by unidentified gunmen in March 2020.
He said it was while he was in court for the trial of the prime suspect in his mother’s kidnap that he started getting threats of kidnap again, prompting him to involve the security.
“While in court over the arrest of the key suspect in the kidnap of my mother, I started receiving threats of kidnap from unknown numbers and I reported to the security agencies.
“The key suspect, Philip, was shown to me as the person threatening me that if I don’t release the arrested kidnapper of my mother, they will kidnap me.
“Philip was also the same person brought to me by the Police to work with me as an independent phone tracker to track the phone lines.
“I had thanked the police for rescuing my mother and providing me with evidence to prosecute my mother’s kidnappers but little did I know that the independent tracker working with me was a kidnapper.
“The second suspect came to me and said he wanted to pray with me. And I opened my doors to him but he turned around to be sending life threatening messages,” he said.
One of the suspects, Philip Okorie, said to be the ICT expert has however denied any form of involvement in attempting to kidnap or extort the local government chairman.
In his explanation, he said he has about 12 years working relationship with the Nigerian Police as an independent Data/Phone calls analysts involved in locating kidnappers and their victims, adding that he was only calling or texting the chairman with hidden numbers to pay him for his job as the Yenegoa local government boss has stopped picking his calls from known numbers.
He said: “My calls to the Yenagoa Local Government Chairman was purely to collect the unpaid debt for my services during the rescue of his mother and arrest of the suspect. “I sent text message to him from hidden numbers because he does not pick my calls and refused to pay monies owed me.”