By Vincent Ujummadu, Awka; Ike Odu, Nsukka & Esther Onyegbulah
A middle- aged man (name withheld) suspected to be the ring-leader of a deadly gang that specializes in raping and using teenagers for rituals has been arrested by the police in Zone 13, Anambra State.
The suspect said to reside in Obosi, Anambra State but hails from Ovoko, Nsukka in Enugu State was allegedly involved in luring unsuspecting teenagers in higher institutions of learning in the Eastern states of the country to hotels where they will be raped, after which their blood will be collected for ritual. Police sources said the suspect whose means of livelihood are unknown claims to be building hotels and hostels and always invited his victims to hotels with promises of showering them with gifts.
How his exploits blew open
However, his exploits were blown open at the University town of Nsukka, last October, after he started charting a teenage student of the University (name withheld) on facebook and later ended up tricking her to a popular hotel in the town where he allegedly raped her. It was gathered that while he was in the act, the suspect tied the girl with belts and rope and she lost consciousness.
Later, the suspect reportedly revived the teenager and told her to clean up in the bathroom. Luckily, the victim ran into the bathroom with her telephone, locked herself up and was able to send frantic messages to her roommate and other friends including her doctor to mobilize students and save her life.
Father of the victim, who is a senior lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, who pleaded for the family’s name not to be mentioned, stated that in the SOS message (print out shown to our reporter), her daughter was pleading passionately with her roommate to engage a commercial motorcyclist urgently and race to the hotel to save her life.
According to the father of the victim, as she was busy sending the message crying for help, the impatient suspect was already calling on her to come out of the bathroom. “When she failed to respond, the suspect who was blaring the radio set in high decibels with a view to covering up his deeds banged furiously on the bathroom door and started destroying it.
Roommates to the rescue
“Luckily, her friends in the campus, who found it very difficult to get a commercial motorcyclist at the hour of the night succeeded at last and rushed to the hotel, with her doctor, who was also alerted. They broke into room 101 and rescued the girl. Both the students and other lodgers in the hotel, including players of the famous Enugu Rangers International, nearly lynched the suspect to death but for the intervention of security guards from the hotel, who assured of handing him over to the police.
“However, the story took a different dimension after the police at Nsukka Division arrived the scene, only to be told that the suspect escaped from the grip of the hotel’s security guards. They only succeeded in recovering the suspect’s abandoned vehicle, bloodstained bedsheet in the room where the victim was raped, and CCTV footages in the hotel.
When investigations continued, we started suspecting fowl play when overtures were being made to us for the matter to be settled amicably, while police investigators kept treating the matter as a mere rape case, without addressing the glaring issue of attempted murder for ritual.
Based on this, we quickly transferred the case to Zone 13, Ukpor, Anambra State, where fresh investigations commenced.
Intelligence report that paid off.
“The police at the zone, together with some military men involved in operation in the east, swiftly embarked on intelligence and scientific investigation and succeeded in arresting the suspect, while he had concluded plans to flee to Ivory Coast,” he stated.
It was learned that while they were tracking the suspect, they nearly succeeded twice at arresting him, while he was also luring another teenage student to a hotel in Nsukka to perform the same act. He narrowly escaped during the encounter. However, police sources said they are still trying unravel the faith of the girls he went out with during that period.
It was gathered that police search for him paid off few weeks later, after vigilante men at Obosi, Anambra State who were alerted over his atrocities, succeeded in arresting him while he was almost trying to escape to Ivory Coast. The suspect, according to sources, made serious overtures of huge financial rewards to the vigilante group at Obosi to set him free, but the group resisted the temptation and handed him over to the police.
His operational weapons.
Vanguard Metro learned that after his arrest, signs of charms, anti-gun and matchete charms were seen all over his body. However, police sources said initially after his arrest, he accused the victim and her roommate of being lesbians but, later, he started narrating his exploits with his gang. It was disclosed that the suspect is a secondary school drop-out and has no known means of livelihood. He reportedly lodges in expensive hotels and drives two cars. He allegedly uses different names like Emeka, Emmy, Oderah Loius, during his criminal exploits and had spent some time in Ghana, where he was said to have escaped after he was exposed.
He also goes about to hotels with radio speakers to control noise, an odour perfume to control smell from his victim’s dead bodies; ropes, belts for restraining the victims and tying them up. These items were recovered together with the CCTV footages in the hotel. In some of his chats, collected through intelligence report, he was also advertising on his whatsaap status that young girls should contact him to collect their school fees and that he was organising a big burial at Nsukka, that they should come and pick their school fees.
Police sources further said that he goes about with sack of money, living in hotels, driving SUV’s and wearing expensive Rolex watches and gold bangles, which he uses to entice his victims. He also lives in three addresses in Obosi and Nsukka.
My daughter has been traumatized
Father of the victim, who said his daughter has been traumatised after the incident, told Metro: “All we are saying is that police must arrest members of the gang hiding outside and busy pressing buttons for their master to be freed. We have all the evidence to show that it is not just a case of rape, but an attempted ritual murder. All his collaborators helping him to subvert justice must be brought to book.
“We learned that the hotel management sacked the manager and some staff that witnessed the incident, to cover up for the suspect, despite helping him to escape when he was held by the mob to be handed to the police. They also gave the suspect master key to the room he gave to his gang members, which they used to move out most of the suspect’s belongings.”
When contacted, the General Manager of Jerry Marriott Hotel and Suites in Nsukka Local government area of Enugu State, where the incident allegedly took place, Patrick Agu said he was not yet employed by the hotel management when one Louis Onyeke allegedly raped and attempted to murder the UNN student in the hotel facility. However, Agu said his enquires revealed that the incident happened in the hotel and that police were already investigating the case.
He also exonerated the hotel management from the escape of the suspect, who has now been arrested by police. “When that incident happened, I was not yet an employee of Jerry Marriott Hotel. However, upon my enquires, I learnt that the incident really took place. Already, the police are handling the matter and the suspects are all reporting to Zone 13, Ukpor-Dunukofia, Anambra State, to answer for their crime. That is all I can say about the incident,” he explained.
While reacting to the development, the spokesperson of Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, said he needed time to verify the incident. “Is it something that happened three months ago? You have to hold on while I verify the incident, because it is not recent,” he said.
In his comment, when contacted, the Assistant Inspector- General of Police in-charge of Zone 13, Ukpor-Dunukofia, Muri Musa, told Metro: ”The case of rape against the suspect from Ovoko, Nsukka in Enugu State, who attempted to rape a doctor’s daughter’s is before Zone 13. We are working on it. When we conclude our investigation, if there is any prima facie case against the suspect, he will be arraigned in the court of law. The suspect has been arrested and he is in our custody.”