A 35-year-old ex-convict, Onyekachi Alozie and his wife, Oluchi, alongside another ex-convict, Agubata Maxwell Chimezie, 39, have been arrested over alleged kidnapped, murdered and setting ablaze of a 71-year-old man, Chief Precious Okorie in Imo state.
The gang was said to have accused Okorie of having an amorous relationship with Alozie’s wife, Oluchi, while the husband was serving a jail term at the Nigeria Correction Centre, Owerri.
Okorie was killed after his family, who had been asked to pay a N20million ransom, paid N1.5million to the gang in the forest at Ochiogwa in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State.
The State Commissioner of Police, Hussain Rabiu, who disclosed this said the deceased family members reported to the Anti-Kidnapping Squad after Okorie was kidnapped on November 12, 2021.
CP Rabiu ordered the commander of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, Oladimeji Oyeyiyewa, and his operatives to swing into action after which they subsequently arrested the gang leader, Agubata Maxwell Chimezie a.k.a “the boss” on December 10, 2021.
Oluchi was picked up on December 20 while her husband was arrested on January 10, 2022 in Owerri.
Alozie, who was said to have allegedly masterminded the kidnapping and murder of Okorie, took the police operatives and family members of the victim to the forest where they saw the burnt body of the deceased.
According to Oyeyiyewa, the operatives recovered the late Okorie’s car, a Toyota Camry from the workshop of an auto painter through the gang leader, who had taken the car for repaint and later sold it for N1million.
Explaining her involvement in the alleged crime to newsmen Oluchi said, “I attended Comprehensive Secondary school at Mbaitoli and got married to Onyekachi Alozie six years ago. I have three children for him. I was arrested by the Anti-Kidnapping operatives on December 20,2021 in my sister’s house in Owerri over the death of Chief Precious Okorie.
“My husband, Onyenkachi, was arrested by the Department of State Services for kidnapping, and he has been detained at the Nigeria Correction Centre since 2018. It was then that I started having an affair with late Chief Okorie in a hotel. We dated for about three years. The late Chief Okorie had been assisting me and would sometimes give me N5,000 or N10,000 for the upkeep of my children. I saw hell while my husband was in prison. It was that money from Chief Okorie that I used to buy foodstuff and prepare food for my husband at the Nigeria Correction Centre, Owerri. When my husband was released from jail in July, 2021, I told him about Chief Okorie, that he was helping us when he was at the Nigeria Correction Centre in Owerri.
“It was when I was having a phone conversation with Chief Okorie that my husband heard everything about how the deceased wanted to see me. My husband got angry and forced me to call him back. The next day, my husband insisted that I should call Chief Okorie around 3.00 pm and threatened that if I didn’t call him, he would kill me. I had to call Chief Okorie and told him to meet me at the hotel, that I would join him soon.
“While he was on his way to the hotel, my husband and his gang member waylaid and kidnapped him. Whenever I asked my husband about the chief, he would warn me to shut up and threaten to kill me. He told me to carry the three children and ran to the village. That was how I was arrested by the Anti-Kidnapping operatives. I don’t know how my husband and his gang killed Chief Okorie.”
Alozie, who confessed to the alleged kidnapping and killing said, “I attended Daughter of Mary Mother Mercy Primary School, Aba and proceeded to Amache Boy Secondary School in Anambra State. I am an electrician by profession. Later I went into armed robbery and kidnapping. I went to the Nigeria Correction Centre twice over kidnapping cases. I was detained at the Nigeria Correction Centre after I was arrested and prosecuted by DSS operatives in 2018. I was discharged by an Nkwerre High Court and released from prison in 2021.
“I have been involved in several armed robberies and various kidnapping in Owerri, Imo State. When I was at the Nigeria Correction Centre, my wife Oluchi was visiting me and bringing food. I didn’t suspect her with late Chief Okorie. She only told me Okorie was a Good Samaritan. Then one day, I overheard their conversation on phone, where Okorie was saying he was eager to see my wife. I was angry and forced my wife to call the deceased to see her in the hotel. My wife has confessed to me that she has been having a sexual relationship with the 71-year-old man in the hotel.
“I threatened to kill my wife, and so she called him back and told him to wait for her in the hotel. I then arranged for him to be kidnapped. My gang leader, Agubata Chimezie a.k.a “the boss” kidnapped Chief Okorie in his car and took him to the forest. I demanded a ransom of N20million but the family members paid only N1.5m as ransom.
“Agubata Chimezie said I should carry the deceased’s car, a Toyota Camry and meet them at Irate and we drove to a hotel in Owerri where the gang leader collected the deceased’s car and sold it for one million naira. He gave us N290,000 from the proceeds of the car sales. I didn’t know how they killed late Chief Okorie and how they burnt his dead body. It was some of our gang members who did the job. The N1.5m ransom collected from the deceased’s family members, they didn’t give me anything as my share. It was the second time that they were demanding another ransom from the deceased’s family member that they promised to give me a share.”
The alleged gang leader, Chimezie, also said, “I attended Unity Primary School Amaigbo, and proceeded to Tick Tiger Memorial Secondary School Amaigbo, Imo State. I studied Nursing and graduated in 2007. I did my NYSC in Yobe State in 2007/2008. I practised and have a shop for pharmaceuticals where I sell drugs and treat patients. I am married and have five children. I have been involved in several armed robberies and kidnapping. I knew Onyekachi Alozie when he left the Nigeria Correction Centre and he used to meet me in my restaurant. It was there we started the armed robbery and kidnapping business.
“It is true that Onyekachi called me about the possible kidnap of Chief Okorie, who was sleeping with his wife, Oluchi when he was at Nigeria Correction Centre. I have been detained twice at the Nigeria Correction Centre in Owerri for child trafficking. I ran an illegal orphanage then. I met Onyekachi at the Nigeria Correction Centre. He sent Chief Okorie’s number to me and we arranged the kidnap with our gang members. We kidnapped him while the deceased was going towards the hotel and I used my vehicle to carry him to our forest and immediately started calling his family members. We demanded N20 million.
“I am from Nnanator Maiguo Nkwerre L.G.A of Imo State. Onyekachi was calling the relatives of the victims and they came and dropped N1,550,000. We later beat the deceased to death and we burnt his body, according to the directives of Onyekachi who wanted revenge from the late chief for sleeping with his wife. l was the one who told Onyenkachi to drive the Toyota Camry of late chief Precious Okorie to meet me in Owerri. I sent N290,000 to Onyekachi for the car. I wanted to give him more money later. I took the car to the painter’s workshop before I was arrested by the Anti-Kidnapping operatives on December 10, 2021.”
The family of the deceased said arrangements were being made for his burial.
The Police boss said the suspects would soon be charged to court while other gang members who were still at large would be arrested.