The Nigerian police has successfully effected the arrest of a Notorious Niger Delta Avenger Militant and Kidnapper, Anthony Pepple AKA “Urban Gorrilla” and other members of his Kidnapping syndicate, known for targeting Medical Doctors and Pharmacists in Port-Harcourt, Rivers state.
After several reported cases of kidnapping in Port Harcourt, IGP Ibrahim K Idris instructed the Intelligence Response Team IRT to bring an end to the menace of this syndicate.
On 01/04/17 at about 1500hrs, after diligent and painstaking Intelligence gathering and analysis and Technical support from TIU, Operatives of IGP- Intelligence Response Team IRT deployed to Port-Harcourt arrested one Saheed Adekunle aka ‘Black Devil’ 27yrs ‘M’ of Ede south L.G.A of Osun State.
'Black Devil' who resides in Port-Harcourt confessed to be introduced into Kidnapping by one Tony in 2016 and gave valuable information that led to the arrest of the Overall Gang leader Anthony Pepple aka ‘Urban Gorilla’ 42yrs ‘M’ of Bonny LGA of Rivers state, a very educated former staff of SAIPEM, a Multinational Oil Servicing Company,
He worked with the Company both in Nigeria and Abu-Dabi UAE. Upon his arrest, Anthony Pepple confessed to being a key member of the Niger Delta Avengers. He revealed to the police that he was actively involved in blowing pipelines and responsible for masterminding the cold-blooded murder of one Soboma George a militant commander in 2009. He also confessed to being the Kingpin of a kidnap Syndicate that was known for targeting Medical Doctors and Pharmacist amongst other unsuspecting innocent members of the public in Port-Harcourt since 2015 collecting his ransoms in tens of millions of Naira.
How Soboma George was killed
Pepple told investigators that he had a score to settle with Soboma over the death of his uncle. "Sobomo killed my uncle'' he said. Narrating the series of events that occurred on the day of George's murder, he said;
"On Saturday, while he was playing football, we were at the field and monitored him. I had an earpiece with me, which was connected to my phone. It made it easier for me to communicate with Ayi and Blackee. Luckily, Soboma picked up an injury and was carried out of the pitch. His girlfriend, younger brother and four of his boys were with him.
They came to where I was standing; I called Ayi and told him that Soboma was out of the pitch. I told them to strike. His girlfriend said she wanted to eat banana with groundnut. They stopped in front of a woman selling it.
The groundnut seller sighted the car trailing Soboma and told him but he said his boys were inside the car. I pretended as if I was urinating; I called Ayi and told him that the woman selling banana was about spoiling the show. I told them to act fast. “They drove to where Soboma was; the first person to come out with a gun was Ayi.
When Soboma saw him, he tried to run, but the men opened fire on him and his girlfriend. The groundnut seller sustained bullet wounds. The girlfriend’s brother jumped into the gutter, while four of his boys, who were his guards, fled. I took a motorcycle and left the scene. “Ayi and Blackee didn’t wear face masks, so everyone saw their faces.
After the operation, they called and told me they were leaving Rivers State for Lagos. I started working on how to get my papers to travel overseas. While in Lagos, they called me again. They said Lagos wasn’t safe for them.
They left for Ondo State, where they were eventually arrested. I met Ayi when he came to Port Harcourt. I was also processing my papers to travel overseas to work. After a short while, my uncle’s wife fell ill and died."
NPF Arrests more members
IGP-Intelligence Response Team IRT in a mop-up operation that lasted about 72hours, seven (7) More members of the Notorious syndicate where arrested and they all confessed to being part of the kidnap syndicate and the roles they played.
Other Confirmed members arrested include,
1) Hillary Wogu ‘m’ 41yrs of Etche L.G.A of Rivers State confessed to taking part in some of the operation.
2)Ogbungbada Chima ‘m’ 36yrs of Rumualogu village in Obio-Akpor L.G.A of Rivers State has maintained a steady communication with a member of the syndicate in Port-Harcourt maximum prison, organizing operations.
3) Chief Aghara Emmanuel Lobito ‘m’ 31yrs was Coronated in December 2014 by His Royal Highness Chukwuemeka Consider Nwafor of Awka Anambra State but resident in Woji Town Port-Harcourt as Chief Eze Lobito Emmanuel Aghara Alusi of Nwanne Di-Namba Port-Harcourt branch, the Chief provided the Nissan Pathfinder And the Nissan Xterra that was used for some of the syndicate operations.
4) Lucky Gospel Marako ‘m’ 36yrs of Tombia community Degema L.G.A of Rivers State confessed to have taken part in many of the syndicate’s operations.
5) Igbiki Sokari ‘m’ 38yrs of Tombia community Degema L.G.A of Rivers State confessed to have taken part in four Kidnappings,
6) Dokubo Victor Ipalibo ‘m’ 28yrs of Kula community in Akuku Toru L.G.A of Rivers State confessed that himself and Tony started the Kidnapping business and he introduced four members of the gang to the group but Resigned.
7) Okwudili Pascal ‘m’ 41yrs of Ezira in Orumba South LGA of Anambra State is a plumber with a shop along East-West road by Akpajo Port-Harcourt, his role is to bring information to Kidnappers on any of his client that he did a plumbing job for and feels that his client has money so that they will be Kidnap.
Candy Ndubisi Nwankwo ‘m’ 30yrs of Obokwe Community in Ngor Kpala LGA Imo state was the syndicate’s armourer, when he sense that his gang members are being picked by the IRT Operatives he ran to Ngor-Okpalla in Imo state where he was traced and on sighting operatives of the IRT, he opened fire thereafter Operatives Returned fire and fatally wounded the Kidnapper.
Some of the notorious syndicate’s antecedents include the Kidnapping of Dr. Silas Nwachukwu a Surgeon and a Director of Capino Pharmacy at Rumuomasi Kidnap August 2015.
Pharmacist Mrs. Joy Enuvie Akpokobje ‘f’ 63yrs Director Tejod Pharmacy No.115 Uniport road Choba Kidnap on 8/11/2016 along NTA Uniport road.
Pharmacist Onomake Monday‘m’ 52yrs Director of Larmack Pharmacy No.166 Uniport road Choba Kidnap on 23/2/2015 at his Pharmacy also along NTA Uniport road.
Dr. Patience Iduh ‘f’ 48yrs a Lab Scientist with N.N.P.C Port-Harcourt kidnapped on 13/1/2017 in Elelewon,
Professor Rosemund Dienye Green Osahogulu, former Vice Chancellor of Ignatuis Ajuru University of Education Port-Harcourt Iwofe, She was Kidnapped while driving along Iwofe road on 18/6/2015 amongst other numerous kidnapping mention by the suspects.
Exhibits recovered from the syndicate are one AK47 rifle with bridge No. 4398 and three(3) vehicles; two(2) SUV’s and a Volkswagen golf used for their kidnapping operations. Serious Effort is still ongoing to recover more arms and ammunition.