By Edeh Nwigwe
An alleged notorious criminal who had been terrorizing innocent citizens of Umuhuali Community of Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi State, Mr. Emma Nwali Adagba of Onunwankwo I village was on 20th July,2019 at about 2am, caught red handed while stealing a new carter motorcycle belonging to one Mr. Emeka Nga at his village house, Azuedengwu, Umuhuali.
Mr. Emma Nwali Adagba about 21 was apprehended following a tip off to the area vigilante group led by Mr. Jude Nwankpu.
Briefing the reporter at Onu-nwankwo Umuhuali on Sunday 21st July, 2019 at scene of the event, the vigilante leader, Mr. Jude Nwankpu said that following a tip off that a motorcycle was stolen in the area, he gathered his men and around 2am, they began to sniff for information on the whereabouts of the motorcycles and those behind the crime.
It was then according to the security chieftain that they began to trace Mr. Emma Nwali’s whereabouts and he was later discovered in a bush along the Nkalagu/Umuhuali road and was rounded up.
Mr. Jude Nwankpu also said that all efforts to obtain the truth about the missing motorcycle failed as Emma Nwali denied having anything to do with it, though he did not deny not being a criminal.
He further said that in the early hours of Sunday, the police came to arrest the suspect but the vigilante pleaded with the police to enable the vigilante trace the motorcycle before handing the suspect to them.
As the police went away, he said, they threatened to kill him and throw his corpse into the Nigercem pit, a situation that frightened the suspect and he quickly pleaded to produce the stolen motorcycle.
Emma took the security to Nkalagu Junction and showed them where the motorcycle was parked.
He told them that as he was intercepted by the Nkalagu vigilante at about 2am on Sunday, while he was trying to escape, he left the motorcycle with them at Nkalagu Junction and ran away.
Mr. Nwankpu further stated that the motorcycle was recovered from Nkalagu where it was hidden and was returned back to Umuhuali and he later obtained information from the suspect that his gang members had fled on hearing of his arrest but he mentioned their names.
The vigilante boss gave the following accusations where the culprit had operated and the items stolen.
He said that on 17th July, 2019, the suspect went and stole a TV set and a gas cooker from Mr. Patrick Nwibina’s house.
On another occasion, Mr. Emma Nwali went to Mrs. Nwankwaka Akam’s House and made away with the sum of N81,000 which he later agreed to have stolen and promised to refund the money and was suretied by his mother who has been paying back the said sum in installments.
Also, on 16th July same, Emma Nwali stole a bag of dried fish belonging Mrs. Chigozie Ekuma at Nwankwo market. The culprit made useful information available to the security Agents and named his gang members, who he said were at large.
Meanwhile, on 23rd July 2019, Emma revealed that 2 of his gang member, Chikwado Igwe (alias G. Nut) 21 and Ozoemena Igwe 26 are using Onuogba Nike in Enugu State as their hideout.
Also briefing the Citizens’ Advocate at Onunwankwo, the C.S.O, Mr. Ifeanyi Orugbala who led the members of Umuhuali to the arrest after N.N.P.C depot, near Emene said that he, had linked all the neighbouring communities and states vigilante and informed them of the crimes and the fleeing suspects.
He said that it was in that regard that Onuogba security hinted that such strange faces were noticed in the area and they negotiated for their arrest which was earnestly accomplished.
Mr. Orugbala said that they went to the area and bundled them and brought them back to Umuhuali where they made several confessional statements, and their involvement in several armed robbery within and outside the area.
When the reporter approached Chukwado Igwe from Egwudinagu village, he said that he has 2 rifles, which he imported from Bayelsa state and hid them in a large foam in the area.
He also confessed to with others, master minded that attack on the pastor who operates P.O.S and carted away some money and other personal effects, with his partner in crime alias Agbalagba whom he said has fled with others.
Also, Ozoemena Igwe confessed to have participated in several robbery incidents across the area but was not involved in the stealing of the motorcycle belonging to Emeka Nga but that the motorcycle was brought to him that night to find a customer but he had no immediate buyer and so he left it at Nkalagu at about 2:03 am.
Also, the vigilante went on general search of the houses of the fleeing criminals, and at the Emma Nwali Adagba’s room, the POS terminal and the pin used by pastor Mike Alo for his POS, the bag of fish and other items were recovered and his mother helped and sent the items to the police at Ezillo where the culprit has been in custody.
Furthermore, Chukwado Igwe also confessed that he was not happy on how he got only N15,000 from the pastors loot when, he was the operation leader and so failed join in the motorcycle saga.
At that juncture, the police from Ezillo Division were invited and the suspects were handed over to them, for further actions.