The Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), has launched a manhunt for the leader of a kidnap gang identified as Karowei Gbakumor in Delta State.
The Commander, OPDS, Rear Adm. Suleiman Apochi, disclosed this on Wednesday when he visited Enekorogha community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta where four British Missionaries were kidnapped and one eventually died.
Apochi was accompanied by the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, and the Commander, Sector 2 of the OPDS, Col. Alhassan Grema, and other military personnel.
The commander, who described the abduction of the Britons as an international embarrassment, urged the community to assist the security agencies to fish out the criminal.
Four British missionaries: David and Shirley Donovan, Ian Squire and Alanna Carson, who were providing free medical services to Enekorogha community where abducted on October 13. Squire died in the captors’ den while the others regained freedom weeks later.
Apochi said the incident would be a setback to the community and the neighboring ones who benefited from the free medical service.
“Now you see that the armed forces are not here to harm or sent to kill you, but to protect and make life conducive for you. All we do is to make the environment safe for you. Nobody has come to take what belongs to you.
“But you people think we have come to attack or harm you, now you see that your enemies are living next to you. This unfortunate incident is an international embarrassment. I want you to mobilise and find Gbakumor and let us know where to get him so that he can be arrested.
“I want the youths of this community to brace up to their responsibility, find him and hand him over to us. Whatever assistance you need, you will have it,” he said.
Mr. Michael Ogodobiri, Chairman of Enekorogha community, said the incident was a setback to the community. Ogodobiri assured that the community would fish out the kingpin, saying that the people were not afraid of him.
Meanwhile, 26 lucky inmates, including a medical doctor awaiting trial at Agbor Prison have been released by the Delta State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro.
The inmates, whose ages range from 19 to 30 years old were released on the grounds of ill health, want of diligent prosecution, long detention in prison and on the advice of the Director of Public Prosecution that some of them have no case to answer by Justice Umukoro during the ongoing prisons visit, which commenced yesterday.
Daniel Ikpi Egu, who claimed to be a medical doctor was arraigned before an Obiaruku Magistrate Court 11 for motorcycle theft. Dr. Egu who hails from Cross River State told the Chief Judge that he was inducted in 2012 and employed by the Cross River State Government.
According to him, following an industrial strike embarked upon by medical doctors in 2013, he was sacked along with 3,000 persons. Jobless and desperate to survive, he relocated to Port-Harcourt, Rivers State where he engaged in private practice.