‘NDDC contractor’ captured after gun duel for kidnap and ritual killing

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By Innocent Eteng

A suspected kidnapper-ritual killer caused a scare in the Rivers State police headquarters on October 1 when he said he works for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). Despite police side of the story, he still said he was not a kidnapper but a contractor in the NDDC who worked for the managing director and other past executives.

The suspect, Morgan Alex, however told newsmen on record that he works for Nsima Ekere, Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and governorship aspirant preferred to emerge as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in AkwaIbom State. When pressed, he said the MD did not know he was into heinous crimes.

Alex is from Imo State but lives and carries out most of his kidnapping activities with members of his gang inPort Harcourt, Rivers State.

Alex; whose gang is also suspected of abducting children, killing and butchering them for ritual purposes; was arrested in Imo State alongside two other gang members (Casmir Nwagwu and 30-year-old Chimeze Nwagwu) by men of the Rivers State Police Command, after an investigation trailed exchange of gunfire between the police and some members of his gang in Port Harcourt.

Parading the suspects at the state Force Headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State police commissioner, Zaky Ahmed, said: “At about 0400hrs, men of the IGP Monitoring Unit, in a sting operation led by the Commander, DCP Benneth Igweh, stormed a criminal hide out in a bush close to Royal Park Estate Eneka, Port Harcourt, where a gang of kidnappers were hibernating.

“However, on sighting the police, they opened fire and in a return fire, one of them, later identified as Casmir Nwagwu ‘m’ aka Wowo, was fatally wounded including the leader of the gang, one Chimeze Nwagwu ‘m’ aka Gasak (30 years) was arrested as others escaped with gunshot wounds.

“Operatives extended investigations intoImo State where one of the fleeing suspects, Morgan Alex ‘m’, was arrested after a gun battle with operatives. Exhibits recovered from them include: three English Pump Action, One SMG Rifle, one Jericho Pistol, 63 live ammunitions, sixteen rounds of 9mm (and) 12 rounds of 7.62mm.”

But when asked by journalists how he got into kidnapping, 34-year-old Alex denied being a kidnapper and child killer. Instead, he said he is a contractor who has handled up to 10 projects for NDDC, including road construction and schools renovation.

He specifically admitted that until his arrest, he worked for the NDDC boss and the APC hopeful candidate in Akwa Ibom, Nsima Ekere. He said apart from Ekere, he had worked for many NDDC top personnel, including George Turnah, a former special adviser to Dan Abia, former Managing Director of NDDC.

“I stay in Port Harcourt and I work with the Niger Delta Development Commission. I am a contractor there. I work with the MD, Nsima (Ekere). I have my ID (identity card), which they (police) took,” the suspect said.

Asked if he is a registered contractor, the suspect said, “Yes, I have worked not less than 10 to eight projects. I formerly worked with the SA Youths, which is George Turnah (he pronounces it as “Stunner”).

“When he left, I also worked with the executive director (he didn’t give name; making it difficult to say whether it is Mene Derek, current Executive Director, Finance and Administration or Adjogbe Samuel, Executive Director, Projects) and also with the MD.”

The suspect however said that Nsima is unaware of the crime-related job for which he was arrested.

Turnah, who was employed at the NDDC in 2012 but resigned in 2015, is fromBayelsa State. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had trailed him after companies linked to hims (Celtic Pride Global Services Limited, West Oak Multi Concepts Limited, Eliben Educational Centre Limited, Cinco Ranch Hotels & Apartments Nigeria Limited and Dubai Stores & Supermarket Nigeria Limited) were suspected to have been used as conduits to launder stolen funds amounting to billions of naira.