The police in Bayelsa State, yesterday, said the dredging firms whose
workers were abducted last Friday by gunmen in the creek of Opuama in
Southern Ijaw council area of the state paid N6 million ransom to the
kidnappers without alerting them.
The state Commissioner of Police, Hilary Okpara, who expressed dismay
at the action of the firms said his men had fine-tuned strategies to
storm the hoodlums' hideout and effect the release of the workers,
when the companies, Beks Nigerian Limited and Sidom Limited, went
ahead to pay the ransom.
Okpara disclosed this in Yenagoa while parading 20 suspects among
them the alleged kidnappers, pipeline vandals and some of the killers
of the 11 policemen in thecreek of Southern Ijaw Local Government
The commissioner noted that the police had examined theintelligence
information at their disposal and studied the map and terrain of where
the kidnappers were hidingbefore storming the place, leading to arrest
of three of them.
He also said efforts were on to track down the leader of the gang
identified as Inemo Worikuma-Lemec, a surveillance contractor with the
Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC.
Exhibits recovered from the kidnappers, according to the commissioner,
include one freezer, one LG television, one generator and about N1.45
million in 29 wraps of N50,000 notes.
He said: "For the fact that the police arrested these kidnappers where
they did not believe we will have access to because of its very
difficult terrain is a warning to potential kidnappers and illegal oil
bunkerers who carry out their criminal activities in the creeks."
The commissioner said with the encouragement from
theInspector-General of Police and the support of the stategovernment,
the command would leave no stone unturned in its resolve to stem the
menace of organised and sophisticated armed gangs in the state.
He said the police operatives who nabbed the suspects exhibited utmost
professionalism during the raid as theydid not fire a single shot in