Chidiebube Okeoma, Owerri
The Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr Dasuki Galandanchi, on Tuesday paraded two teenagers, Emmanuel Ewudo, and Chinwe Nwaane, (15), and 23 others for attempted robbery, kidnapping and burglary.
Parading the suspects, the police boss said the command would charge them to court after investigation.
But one of the suspects, Ewudo pleaded for leniency, adding that they attempted the crime because they were trying to raise funds to register for the West Africa Certificate Examination.
He said, “Please help us beg the police not to kill us, we are sorry for breaking into somebody’s house, we were trying to raise funds to register for the West Africa Certificate Examination.”
The boys, who are students of Bishop Shina-Hand College in Orlu, said that their quest to pay for the WACE fees led them into crime.
Galandanchi said the duo broke into the residence of one Mrs. Chigozie Ohajiogu in Akokwa, Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo State with the intent to rob her.
Her cry, according to Galandanchi, made the suspects to flee, adding that they returned in about 45 minutes later but escaped being arrested by policemen that had come to secure the area.
He said they were nabbed in their school.
The other suspect, Nwaane, said, “Yes we are students. My father has been bedridden and in hospital and unable to pay my WAEC fees, I begged my friend to accompany me somewhere. We went to rob the woman but we were not successful.
“We were caught one day after. We are very scared, we don’t want to be killed but we know that it is wrong to break into somebody’s house.”
Meanwhile, the police commissioner disclosed that a total of 45 suspected criminals had so far been arrested.
“At least, 24 of them were arrested for armed robbery, 12 people for kidnapping; eight for cultism and one for child trafficking. Eleven others were arrested for unlawful possession of firearms, three caught for stealing electric cables belonging to communities and one for internet fraud,” he said.
Galadinchi disclosed that five kidnap victims were rescued while six stolen vehicles 17 telephone handsets and one laptop were recovered from the suspects.
Amongst the suspects paraded for kidnapping was one Patrick Ogidi who specialised in kidnapping elderly persons aged 80 years and above, whose children were forced to pay ransom.
Ogidi, who hails from Obiagbu in Ohaji-Egbema LGA said he preferred to kidnap octogenarians because they are frail and would not give him any concerns over escape.