A suspect, Ifeanyi Asiegbuelam, has narrated how he helped the late billionaire kidnapper, Collins Ezenwa, popularly referred to as E-money, to kidnap many rich people from the South-East, especially in Imo and Abia states.
However, Asiegbuelam, 32, lamented that despite aiding Ezenwa to perpetrate the crimes, he didn’t make him rich.
Ezenwa, a dismissed police corporal, was killed in January 2018 during a gun duel with policemen attached to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Imo State Police Command when he attempted to kidnap a South-African-based Nigerian businessman in Owerri.
More than 13 buildings including a hotel, belonging to the late kidnapper were reportedly traced by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team to Abia, Imo and Enugu states, while seven cars, two SUVs, one Hilux truck, a billboard bus, two tipper-lorries and a trailer belonging to him were also recovered from several locations within the South-East.
Asiegbuelam, who was arrested recently by policemen in Cross Rivers State and handed over to IRT operatives, claimed that he met E-money, who was killed alongside two other gang members, five years before he joined the Nigeria police .
He said they were both motorcycle operators in Owerri before E-money joined the police.
Speaking to City Round during the week, Asiegbuelam, a grade school dropout from Atah town, Ikeduru government Area of Imo State, said he lost his father while he was young and later had to measure together with his uncle within the North.
After some years, the suspect said he returned to Owerri to become a billboard motorcyclist.
He said, “Few years into the trade, I met E-money in Owerri and he was also an okada rider at the time. E-money and that i became very close friends.
“We did the work for five years before he joined the police. He asked me to hitch him but I told him I had no school certificate. He went ahead to hitch the police and began driving police vehicles around Owerri.”
Asiegbuelam said after a short time , he stopped seeing E-money in town which later in 2017, he heard that E-money had travelled out of the country.
He said, “But a couple of weeks later within the same year, he showed up in my house during a dark-tinted Toyota Prado SUV, and there he invited me to hitch his kidnapping enterprise. On the primary operation I went with him, we drove to Okigwe, where we kidnapped a person in his car.
“We accosted the vehicle and dragged the person out of the vehicle and took him into our own vehicle; then we zoomed off. E-money then asked me to blindfold the victim and once we got on the brink of my town, E-money asked to return down from his SUV and he gave me N50,000. I didn’t question him and he drove the person away. I didn’t know where he took the person to, number of days the person spent with him, how he negotiated and picked up his ransom.”
The suspect said he escaped to a bush on the day E-money was killed by the police, adding that he stayed in Owerri for 2 months after the incident.
He said, “Then I got a call from Ugo, who kept one among E-money’s rifles and that we formed a replacement gang. But on our first operation, we had trouble. Some policemen accosted us and a shootout ensued. Ugo’s friend was killed. Ugo escaped but Chimobi and that i were arrested. Chimobi sustained a bullet wound within the process and that we were kept in an open-cell in handcuffs. I wouldn’t skills Chimobi got the keys to our handcuffs and that we escaped again from police custody.
“I ran to Port Harcourt and stayed there for quite one year; then I moved to Calabar once I felt the police were closing in on me in Port Harcourt. I lived in Calabar for seven months with a lover who I met in Port Harcourt and that we worked on a farm. i used to be arrested in my friend’s house and brought to Owerri before i used to be brought back to Lagos and handed over to the IRT. it had been after my last arrest that I realised that E-money made such a lot money from our business and left me a pauper begging for money.”