Bayelsa State Police Commissioner Ben Okoli on Monday said Abuja socialite, John Ewa alias John Lyon, arrested for alleged kidnapping was a cleaner at a new generation bank.
Okoli stated this during the parade of Lyon and three other members of the kidnap syndicate.
According to the police boss, Lyon and his gang were involved in the kidnap of top bankers, businessmen and prominent persons.
He identified the leader of the kidnap gang as Emmanuel Angase, 37, a native of Azuzuama community, Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa.
The CP said, “Angase operates a kidnapping camp at Sunikiri creek near Oluasiri in Nembe LGA with his second in command, one 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, Angase, has confessed that on 30th June 2022 at about 0600 hours, himself, John Ewa and others at large accosted Danjuma Omeje at the entrance of his house at Okaka, kidnap him and fled in a blue Toyota Corolla car with plate-number KJA 225 AY.
“They took the victim to his camp at Sunikiri Oluasiri, and released him on 14th July 2022 after collecting N60m ransom. The suspect also confessed to the kidnap of Akeeb Oladele Olusola a banker and Nancy Keme Dickson, who was kidnapped on 26th December 2015. He also confessed to the kidnap of Chinonso Eze and other Igbo businessmen.
“John Ewa, 30 years, aka John Lyon, 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 $10,000 (TenThousand US Dollars) from the ransom collected in the kidnap of Danjuma Omeje.
“Innocent Kingsley, 31 years, a native of Egbu community Etche LGA, Rivers State. The owner of a Blue Toyota Corolla car with REG NO KJA 225 AY, and one Timi Werikumo ‘m’ 21 years, a native of Azuzuama community of Southern Ijaw LGA, Bayelsa State.”
On some of the gang’s alleged activities, Okoli said: “On 8th December, 2020 one Akeeb Oladele Olushola, male, 48, a Manager of a new generation bank was kidnapped at his residence at Old Commissioners’ Quarters, Opolo. He was released on the 12th December 2020 after paying a ransom of N80m.
“Similarly, Danjuma Omeje, 41, a Manager of a new generation bank in Yenagoa was kidnapped at his residence at Okaka, Yenagoa, on 30th June, 2022. He was released on 14th July 2022 after paying a ransom of N60 million, N30m cash and US Dollars equivalent of N30m.”