Nigeria: Police Parade Notorious Kidnap Kingpin Who Flaunts Dollars On Social Media

A former staff member of a new generation bank and leader of a notorious kidnap gang in Bayelsa State, who notoriously flaunts dollar bills on social media, John Ikechukwu Ewa (aka John Lyon), has narrated how his gang carried out high profile kidnappings in the state.

Ewa, who was among four members of his gang paraded by the Bayelsa State Police Command yesterday, said after resigning from the bank, he engaged in interior decoration business, where his experience in the banking sector and as an interior decorator give him the knowledge about rich people in the state.

According to him, in the two kidnapping incidents where he supplied information, they realised N80 million, N30 million and a dollar equivalent of N30 million.

He said he was working with one Danjuma Omeje, a manager with new generation bank, which he provided information that led to his kidnapped.

According to the kidnapper, who gave his real name as John Ikechukwu Ewa, 30, from Akwagom-Eruan Community in Boki Local Government Area of Cross River State, the dollars he was seen flaunting on Facebook belonged to his gang leader, Emmanuel Angase.

Further confessing to the crimes while being paraded at the Police Officers Mess in Yenagoa, Ewa claimed that his friends (members of the kidnap gang) asked him to give them the address of his former boss, Danjuma Omeje, and that few days later, they kidnapped him and collected a ransom of N45 million from him.

He said after the operation, they gave him N1.5 million as assistance to take care of the medical bills of his sick mother in the hospital, adding: “I also gave them the address of one Akeem Olushola, who they also kidnapped and collected N80 million as ransom. After that operation, they gave me N3.5 million.”

However, his gang member, Emmanuel Angase, while giving account of the role he played for the gang, accused Ewa of misleading the public, claiming that he was the one who brought all the kidnap jobs because he was bitter about the way he was sacked from work at the bank.

“He is lying. We have been caught, so he should just accept that fact and tell the truth. John was the one who brought all the jobs to us. The dollars he flaunted on Facebook belongs to him. It is common knowledge that in a gang, the leader is always the richest person because he collects the lion share of the ransom,” he said.

Parading the suspects, state Commissioner of Police, Ben Nobolisa Okolo, said the gang has been responsible for over 10 high profile kidnappings in the state over a period of seven years.

He said: “On December 8, 2020, one Akeeb Oladele Olushola, 48, a manager of a new generation bank, was kidnap at his residence at the old Commissioners Quarters in Opolo; he was released on December 12 after paying a ransom of N80 million.

“Similarly, Danjuma Omeje, 41, a manager of a new generation bank in Yenagoa, was kidnapped at his residence at Okaka, Yenagoa, on July 30, 2022, and was released on July 14, 2022, after paying a ransom of N60 million-N30 million cash and dollar equivalent of N30million.

“Operatives of Operation Restore Peace, through painstaking investigation, arrested the following suspects: Emmanuel Charles Angase, 37, a native of Azuzuama community in Southern Ijaw LGA, who is the leader of the kidnapping gang. He operates a kidnapping camp at Sunikiri creek near Oluasiri in Nembe LGA with his second-in-command, Gbalipre Gamage, now at large. Police operatives recovered a brand new Toyota Avalon he bought for his wife with the proceeds of ransom he collected.

“The gang leader, Emmanuel Charles Angase, has confessed that on June 30, 2022, at about 0600 hours, he, John Ewa and others at large accosted Danjuma Omeje at the entrance of his house at Okaka, kidnapped him and fled in a blue Toyota Corolla Car with registration number: KJA 225 AY. They took the victim to their camp at Sunikiri Oluasiri, and released him on July 14, 2022, after collecting N60 million ransom. The suspect also confessed to the kidnap of Akeeb Oladele Olusola, a banker, and Nancy Keme Dickson, who was kidnap on December 26, 2015, as well as the kidnap of Chinonso Eze and other Igbo business men.

“John Ikechukwu Ewa, 30, aka John Lion, a native of Eruan community in Boki LGA, Cross River State, known for flamboyant lifestyle on social media, a former cleaner with a new generation bank, confessed to have collected 10 thousand dollars from the ransom collected in the kidnap of Danjuma Omeje.

“Innocent Kingsley, 31, a native of Egbu community in Itche LGA, Rivers State is the owner of a blue Toyota Corolla car, and one Timi Werikumo, 21, a native of Azuzuama community in Southern Ijaw LGA, Bayelsa State.”

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