I was into “419” before veering into kidnapping, suspect tells police


Afam Nriezedi, a kidnap suspect who is at present helping the police at the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Lagos State Police Command, over his involvement in the kidnap of two Lagos-based businessmen, has confessed that, before now, his ‘line’ was bank fraud and hacking into people’s bank accounts.

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, towards the end of last year, ordered Abba Kyari, a superintendent of police in charge of SARS, to fish out Nriezedi by all means. The hunt for the suspect followed the arrest of some kidnappers in Lagos who abducted two prominent petroleum dealers in the state. After SARS rescued the victims and interrogated the kidnappers, they confessed that Nriezedi, who knew the victims, facilitated the kidnap and invited them to carry out the job.Nriezedi

He was arrested on Friday, January 17, 2015 in the Agric area of Ikorodu, Lagos, by two SARS teams, with Kyari as head. Nriezedi confessed that he was into “419” fraud and hacking into people’s bank accounts before veering into kidnapping. “My friend Seyi Lewis, an insider, helps me. He has travelled to the United Kingdom with his family, since 2013,” he said in his confession. It was reported that he hatched the plot to abduct the businessmen with one IK in a bear parlour. Nriezedi claimed that IK gave him N20,000 after buying him beer, to point out some prominent persons. “I had information about the owner of Dapsom Petroleum, in Ejigbo.

I took IK in their operational Sienna van and pointed out the director of Dapsom Petroleum to him. The proposal was for the man to be kidnapped,” he said. He also took the gang to Kings Petroleum and fingered the director as well as his car. According to a source in SARS, Hammed Fashola, the owner of Kings Petroleum, was the target in that instance. The gang carried out his abduction during Ramadan period last year. Nriezedi identified his blue Tundra truck as well as his white Range Rover to aid the gang in kidnapping Fashola.

They kidnappers succeeded in collecting ransom from Dapsom’s director but had not collected any money from Fashola when SARS stormed their hideout at 18, Adeniyi Ishola Street, off Bola Road, Isheri-Osun, on December 17. Kyari was said to have led two undercover teams to the hideout, where Fashola was found in chains in the toilet and was rescued. The police also arrested three kidnappers in the raid. Fashola was kidnapped on November 13. Nriezedi claimed that after the first kidnap, they gave him N7,000. The second kidnap did not fetch him anything, as he said he did not know that they had carried it out. He it was that took the gang in his car to Governor’s Road, Ikotun, Lagos, where they called the family of victim for negotiation. Married, with one child, Nriezedi, 41, said, “I’m from Agu Ukwu Nri in Anambra State.

It was my sisters that married a wife for me because I did not have money. I live at 11, Arobaba Street, Idimu, Lagos. “I was a trader in hospital equipment before; I also did buying and selling of clothes before I joined 419 gang. I was buying the clothes from Cotonou. “I was arrested last Saturday at Ikorodu because I gave information to kidnappers. I gave information about two prominent men in Lagos, the owner of Kings Petroleum, and owner of Dapsom Petrol Station. It was only two of the kidnappers I know, IK and Chekwube.

They were the people I gave the information. I knew them at a drinking pub. It was through their business discussions that I knew they were kidnappers and flowed along with them. “After a week, they asked me if I know any big man. I told them I knew two people that were petroleum dealers. I knew them because I usually bought fuel from their stations and they had offices at their filling stations. “I use Camry car; it was my sister that gave it to me to use for car hire service. I did not know how they were kidnapped.

They only gave me N7,000 to repair my car. “Kings was kidnapped on his way home to the estate. I heard gunshots, after that everywhere was calm. It was in the morning when police came to remove King’s white Range Rover that I knew he had been kidnapped. I knew it was the gang that did the job. “I called IK to tell him I was aware they kidnapped Kings, but his number did not go through. I didn’t know where IK and the rest were. I was arrested at Ikorodu where I went to operate on grown on my neck.

“It was the day I went there that they came with my brother and sister to arrest me. We are eight in number. I am the sixth. We are two boys and six girls. I was into bank fraud. I have carried out series of bank fraud. I made up to N300,000, N400,000 each time I did it. “I used to do it with friends who had inside connection. We used clone cheques and forge signatures. We hacked lines and diverted them so that when they called the owner to confirm, another person would pick it and do the confirmation. “All the money I made in bank fraud, I squandered it in drinking and womanising. It is my sisters that normally pay house rent for me and married a wife for me.

I was paying rent before, but it was since two years now that things became somehow. “Since I was arrested, my sisters have not come to see me. Three of them are married and three are single. They do business and government work. “It was one of them, my elder sister and third in number, that bought the car for me. My father is late. He retired as chief inspector of police. My mother is also late. “I was arrested by police twice for bank fraud. I was charged to court twice, in 2005 and 2007. I was released on bail and the court later struck the cases out when the bankers were no longer coming to court.”

source: Daily Independent


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