Operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, IRT, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, have apprehended a seven-member notorious kidnapping gang that killed an American Soldier in Okigwe area of Imo State in 2017.
The deceased, a Nigerian who was serving in the US army and identified as Chuks Okebata, was holidaying in Okigwe when he was abducted and killed.
The suspects, Sunday Igwe, alias School Boy, Michael Ahmefula, Oyebuchi Echefule, Ndubusi Isaac, Victor Dagogo, Chima Okoro and John Edet were arrested last week.
In their confessional statement to the police, the suspects admitted being members of a deadly armed robbery and kidnapping gang terrorizing Imo, Abia and Rivers States. Their leader, School-Boy, said that they never knew that the deceased was an American soldier and that they never planned to kill him.
“He tried to disarm me and in the process was killed. If we had not killed him, he would have killed us. He is strong with tough muscles and the only way to save our lives was to kill him.
We bundled him into the boot of our operational vehicle after he was kidnapped. We didn’t know who he was. While we were heading to our camp where we hope to keep him until ransom is paid. He pulled out his gun and started shooting at us from the boot and the bullet hit me on the leg and the driver on his hand.
Realizing the danger I asked our driver to stop the vehicle. As soon as the vehicle came to a halt we disarmed him. He was killed right there on the spot. We dumped his body inside a gutter and left. I want everyone to understand that I have no intention of killing him but he forced us into doing it,” he stated.
Gang members that killed Chuks Okebata
Breaking the news in 2017, close relatives with the late Chuks said; ‘my Cousin Chuks Okebata, A USA Veteran, who has spent most part of his life working and defending the United States of America.
After a very long time living in the USA, and because of the love he has for his country Nigeria and his home town (Umuduruorie Umuomumu Mbieri in Mbaitoli LGA) he started building a house at home as a bond that make him to be frequenting his mother land.
Chuks Okebata in the nwly built house
Just as he returned last Xmas to spend his vacation in Nigeria and also to move into his new home. At Exactly 5pm on the 12th of Jan 2017, some gun men abducted and shot him’.
He continued to say, ‘for all I know about my cousin, he has always been a free, gentle, and relates to everyone irrespective of your age. He’s survived by his two lovely sons and a wife (he has been in a serious battle with his wife in the US). A bounty has been placed on anybody with any clue whatsoever that can lead to the arrest of the Hoodlums.
A sum of 2.5mil Naira reward as the family is out to seek Justice for the Assassinated son’.
Already, friends of the late Chuks Okebata have since taken to social media with heart warming tributes to mourn his demise.