A serving corporal with the Imo State Police Command, Jude Madu, from Umukishi Amuze, Ahiara Mbaise LGA, Imo State, who was the leader of the five-man kidnap gang that allegedly abducted and killed Rev. Fr. Cyriacus Onunkwo, last Friday, were yesterday paraded by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike.
Other members of the gang on parade were Izuchukwu, aka Small, Onyema, Emmanuel, Victor and Ifechukwu.
The Catholic priest from Umuotuasi village in Osina, Ideato North Local Government Artea of Imo State, who had returned from Lagos State for the burial of his late father, was abducted and his corpse was found in Nkwito, Omumma, Oru East LGA, the following day.
Addressing newsmen, Ezike said that on September 1, 2017, police received a distress call at about 8.35pm that a Toyota Avalon car with four men blocked Fr. Onunkwo, who was driving his Toyota Corolla car, with registration Imo KED 290 AA, and abducted him. The incident was said to have happened at the popular Banana Junction, Orlu.
He said: “The police subsequently declared a search and, on September 2, the Divisional Police Officer reported that the corpse of a man was seen in his area of jurisdiction and deposited at the mortuary. Reverend Father Kenneth Obialisi and the DPO of Orlu were alerted and they rushed to Omuma and identified the corpse as that of the kidnapped Onunkwo.”
Ezike disclosed that through the help of forensic investigative technology, they were able to track Madu, the leader of the gang, a serving police corporal of the command, who was in possession of the deceased priest’s Infinix telephone handset, which equally led to the arrest of the other members of the gang.
He said: “The investigating team, using forensic technology, had arrested a Police Corporal Jude Madu, who was found in possession of the late Rev. Fr. Onunkwo’s Infinix telephone handset. Through a process of intelligence/investigative reconstruction, other members of the gang were arrested at various locations in the state and in Rivers and Anambra states.”
He added that investigation was still continuing because the suspects have made other confessions not related to the case under investigation, which require extensive probing.
Fielding questions from newsmen, Victor, who hails from Umuchukwu Umuagu, Obowo, and has a BSc. in Management Technology from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, said that it was the now dismissed police officer who initiated the kidnapping of the priest and even when the late Onunkwo cried out that he was a Catholic priest, Madu ordered him to be tied and his mouth sealed and then thrown into the boot of the Avalon car.
He further revealed that, when they disclosed that the Catholic priest had died in the boot of the car because he had been bleeding from the nose, they had to dump his body at Nkwito in Omuma.
Similarly, Emmanuel, from Mgbagbuowa in Ezeagu council of Enugu State, who was arrested at the NNPC mega station by control post, and in possession of wristwatch of the late priest, named Madu as the initiator and their leader.