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Published On: Tue, Jun 10th, 2014

REVEALED:Kevin’s Group Collect N40m from Ezekhome, N7m from Eghagha as Ransom

Delta Kidnap Kingpin Kevin Obruche (in front) on trial at Abuja

LAGOS JUNE 10TH (URHOBOTODAY)-A Lagos-based lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) who was kidnapped by gunmen in August 2013 paid N40m as ransom to regain his freedom from the kidnappers. Ozekhome paid the sum of N40 million to the abductors in US dollars.
Similarly a former commissioner in Delta State, Prof. Hope Eghagha?, who was kidnapped in September 30, 2012 by the same gang also paid N7 million after he was abducted on his way from Warri to Asaba.
These revelations were contained in the charges filed against three of the abductors before Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The accused persons, including the alleged gang leader, Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, on Monday pleaded not guilty to the 13 counts preferred against him and two other accused persons; Frank Azuekor and Michael Omonigho.
Count nine of the charges reads, “That you Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, Frank Azuekor and others at large on or about August 23, 2013 you committed an act of terrorism to wit: kidnapped Mike Ozekhome (SAN), at Iruekpen, on his way to Iviukwe, Agenebode and shot and killed four policemen, namely, Paul Sunday Ajaka (ASP), Sunday Ewanshita (Insp), Michael Akpada (Insp) and Balary Kong (insp).
“And that you demanded and compelled him to pay a ransom of N40m which were paid to you in US dollars before you released Mike Ozekhome (SAN) and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 1(2)(f) and Terrorism Prevention Act, 2011 as amended.”
The accused persons were also charged with murder, as they were accused of killing five policemen and prison officers while on their duty posts between 2010 and October 2013 in Delta State.
The slain policemen according to the prosecution are Paul Sunday Ajaka, Sunday Ewanshiha, Michael Akpada, Bakary Kong and Innocent Odo, ?while the slain two prison officials are Lawrence Edore and Oyibo Okoye.
They were also charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist act of kidnapping, serving as accessory to an act of terrorism, inciting persons to commit act of? terrorism, recruiting members and aiding and abetting terrorism.
They were accused of committing the offences which were said to be punishable under Section 17 of Terrorism Prevention Act 2011 as amended, between 2010 and 2013.
Justice Ademola rejected the bail application filed by the accused persons’ counsel, Bala Dakum, and ordered that the accused persons be remanded in the custody of the SSS and adjourned the case till July 1.

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