The police in Ogun State have arrested all members of the Okpara family staying in the Sagamu area of the state for leading several kidnapping operations in the area.
SaharaReporters learnt that the police arrested a man, Oweniwe Okpara from Delta State and three of his children namely Samson Okpara, Bright Okpara and Eze Okpara as well as one Christian Ishaha who accommodated them.
According to the police, the family members were apprehended in the Ajaka area of Sagamu for their roles in the kidnapping of eight persons at different times in Sagamu and adjoining areas.
Confessions by the four suspects led to the arrest of three other family members who are reportedly younger brothers of Oweniwe, and identified as Godwin Okpara, Godspower Okpara and Mathew Okpara.
The police noted on Friday that the three younger brothers are the armed squad of the syndicate, while Oweniwe's children–Samson, Bright and Eze Okpara, were the ones spying on their targeted victims.
The police spokesman, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, said, “A kidnap syndicate made up of members of the same family has been apprehended by operatives of Ogun State Police Command.
“An intelligence and technology driven investigation led to the arrest of one Oweniwe Okpara from Delta State and three of his children namely: Samson Okpara, Bright Okpara and Eze Okpara as well as one Christian Ishaha who accommodated them. They were all arrested in Ajaka area of Sagamu.
“In the course of investigation, it was discovered that three other members of the family were part of the criminal gang and their names are Godwin Okpara, Godspower Okpara and Mathew Okpara.
“One Emmanuel Joseph, a native of Ebele in Edo state was later recruited into the fold, having confronted their sister Eze Okpara to tell him the source of money they used to count every day. They subsequently opened up to him that they were into kidnap business and he also joined them.”
According to the police, among the victims of the gang is one Okechukwu Onwubiko, who was kidnapped on June 4, 2019. They also kidnapped one Omotayo Sobowale on June 16, 2020, while on July 20, 2020, one Lamidi Akeem was abducted by the same gang.
On November 3, 2020, they kidnapped one Mrs. Areoye Olufunke, and barely a week after, on November 13, 2020, they abducted another person, one Mrs. Adijat Adeleye while Ashaye Olayinka Tobi was also kidnapped on the 12th of November by this dreaded gang.
The police noted that their camp was located in a forest in Ayepe-ijebu where their father used to farm before converting it to a camp.
At the camp, three expended cartridges, cooking gas, tarpaulin, cooking utensils, bags and twine were recovered by detectives.