By Desmond Ejibas/Port Harcourt
The Nigerian Army 6th Division, Port Harcourt, has handed over three male suspected kidnappers and rapists it arrested to the Rivers Police Command for further investigation and prosecution.
Col. Aminu Iliyasu, Deputy Director, Army Public Relations Officer in the Division, who handed them over on Friday declined to comment on the matter.
The three suspects two of whom are aged 21 and the other aged 36, admitted to the crime of kidnapping a teacher before newsmen and pleaded for leniency.
Receiving the suspects, the Intelligent Officer of the Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Rivers, SP Okocha Sunday, said the police was on the trail of other gang members currently on the run.
“We have put modalities in place and trying our best to arrest those involved.
“However, we need the support of the public to end kidnapping in the state,” he appealed.
Meanwhile, the middle-age woman (name withheld), who was kidnapped by the gang recounted her horrifying three-day ordeal in the hands of the kidnappers in Port Harcourt.
She explained how the three suspects, who allegedly masterminded her kidnap, maltreated her to newsmen during handing over of the suspects by soldiers of 6 Division Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, on Friday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victim’s identity was withheld over concerns for her security and possible stigma.
The victim, who is married with children and a secondary school teacher, was kidnapped on April 30 and held captive for three days before she escaped captivity on May 2.
According to her, she was forcibly taken from her home in Rumuekini community – near University of Port Harcourt to a thick forest, where she was later raped by one of her kidnappers.
“On April 30 at about 8 p.m., I was doing laundry as well as watching a television programme on Zee World, when I suddenly noticed that my door protector was open.
“I started wondering who must have opened it since my children and husband’s cousin had gone to bed. Then, suddenly, someone started picking the door key – which terrified me.
“Thereafter, the door was opened and two men with AK 47 assault rifles walked inside, cocked and pointed their guns at me.
“They immediately requested for my husband and I told them he hadn’t returned from work. Later, they demanded for my car key, ATM card and pin – which I gave them.
The victim said the suspects then took her television set and laptop, and forcibly drove her in her vehicle to an unknown destination in the state.
“After several minutes of driving, they suddenly stopped the car, blindfolded me, and then, we continued the journey on foot inside a thick forest.
We walked for several hours under heavy downpour.
“While these were going on, I was pleading for my release but they refused. I even transferred my salary (N59,000) to them, and after collecting the money, they still held me.
“Later, we arrived at their camp and spent the night there. In the morning, one of the kidnappers demanded to sleep with me but I refused. He later raped me,” she said in tears.
She said the next day she realised that she had lost a lot of blood from injuries she sustained from sharp edges of sticks, which tore her skin during the long trek.
The victim said soon after, she started feeling sick and was losing her strength when her kidnappers warned that they would still collect ransom, even if she dies.
According to her, the abductors later contacted her husband on May 2 demanding N3 million as ransom for her release.
“So, on third day, one of the kidnappers stepped out to make a call while his colleague was asleep. Thereafter, I pretended to ease myself, and then sneaked out.
“I walked for hours inside the bush and following direction of the sun, until I got to a road in the middle of nowhere. I got exhausted.
“I waved at vehicles, but none stopped. Later, two young men stopped and took me to army checkpoint.
“The army then brought me to Bori Camp – 6 division barracks,” she said