11 bodies uncovered in Benue kidnappers’ den
The police in Benue State yesterday disclosed that they had uncovered hidden graves in Gbatse village with 11 bodies of people suspected to have been killed by kidnappers in Ushongo Local Government Area of the state.
The Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Catherine Anene, disclosed this to newsmen in Makurdi. Anene said one suspect has been arrested, adding that “as soon as we conclude interrogating him, we will give out the full information.”
It was gathered that the suspect, a gang leader of a kidnapped and armed robbery syndicate, was arrested following a tip-off by members of the community. The suspect and his gang were alleged to have killed their victims and buried them after collecting their motorcycles in order to conceal their crime and to avoid arrest.
A resident of Ushongo town, who pleaded anonymity, said of the recovered bodies, six have been identified by relatives of the victims while five were yet to be identified. There are strong indications that many bodies are still lying in the shallow graves.
The Guardian gathered that many of the victims were young persons in their 20s. The ringleader of the syndicate group, identified as Iorwuese Kpila, alias Dr. Kwagh Akoronmenenge, was arrested with six other members of his syndicate.
According to police authorities, the hideout of Kpila is located at a hilltop surrounded by some thatch houses and a shrine. It was gathered that few days ago, the district head of Mbagwaza, Chief Julius Kpenkpen called his Mbayegh counterpart, Chief Nathaniel Hoyo and informed him that two Okada riders in his jurisdiction were missing.
The district head of Mbayegh summoned a meeting of leaders of the two communities and demanded that the family of the kidnap kingpin (Kpila) should produce him. Eventually, the suspect showed up on Monday in the home of Chief Hoyo who handed him and four other accomplices over to the police for investigation as they confessed to the killing and burial of numerous victims.
Speaking with journalists in Ushongo at the site of the incident, Governor Samuel Ortom decried at the horror, noting that this height of criminality will have no place in the state.
He said seven suspects have been arrested so far, while four are still at a large.
“We will get to the root of kidnapping in the state. They will be fished out to face the law. All kidnappers in flash point local councils, including Vandeikya, Logo, Ukum, Kwande and Katsina-Ala will be apprehended. My government will not surrender the state to criminals,” Ortom vowed.
The council chairman, Bemsen Agugu, gave the names of the victims to include;; Aondowase Akaahar-Aged 21 years-From mbarumun, Nanev, Kwande LG.
Terlumun Tema-Shangev-Ya, Kwande LG, Ushahemba Ulugh-Aged 26years-From Mbakyaa, Shangev-ya, Kwande LG
Others are; Avakaa Adema-Aged 2O years-From Tse Akanyi-Mbarumun, Nanev Kwande LG, Tughgba Akosu -Aged 21 Years-From Mbakua-Abenga, Nanev, Kwande LG,, Ushahemba Adasu-Aged 28 years -from Mbagbera, Vandeikya LG and Aondohemba Kunav-Aged 39 years, beside General Hospital, Vandeikya.
Among them are; Terkaa Wanshila-Aged 25 years, from Mbarumun-Nanev, kwande LG, Iorhemba Temase Asongo-from Tse Jev-Mbangor, Shangev-Ya, Kwande LG , Terfa AtiAged 19 Years, Mbagwaza, Ushongo LG and “TYokuia Ankyo-from Mbagwaza, Ushongo LG.
Those arrested, according to the chairman are; Mr. Iorwuese kpila aka “Dr. kwagh akorom menenge”. Tersoo Agee Agabi Charles ,Mr. Ortema aka ten tyres and Mr. Chiahemba Baa.