On May 25, 2016, Ikenna Osuji, a student of the Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Imo State, who was working as a taxi driver along to finance his studies, met his death in the hands of kidnappers when he drove into a land where 30-year-old Chinedu Azuazu was a security guard.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that Ikenna was fairly known to Azuazu because he used to drive prospective land buyers to the large expanse of land guarded by Azuazu in his cab. But May 25 was the last day the young man would ever be seen alive. He drove into the land again that day and was never seen again.
When Azuazu was nabbed on September 12, 2016 by operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Response Team, details of the gruesome end Ikenna met in the hands of his captors emerged.
Azuazu, a father of one living at Omouku area Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said he was employed to guard the land in question, which belonged to the Alakahia community close to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital.
Azuazu said he checked Ikenna’s pulse and realised that he was still breathing but faintly.
According to him, there was nothing he could do to help the young man and had to leave him on the ground till he breathed his last.He said after few hours, he went to check Ikenna’s pulse again and noticed that he had died.
The suspect said,
A source said when police investigators visited Alakahia community, a chief, Hyacinth Akwukwauegbu, told them that a corpse was found on his farm and that it had been buried without reporting the discovery to the police.
Azuazu said after Joshua left, he also travelled to Lagos to search for a job but had to go back to Port Harcourt when no job was forthcoming.
The suspect said,
Ikenna’s elder brother, Peter, who was the one the kidnappers contacted, said he paid N1.2m as ransom as against the N120,000 Azuazu admitted to.According to him, Ikenna bought a car and used it as cab to support himself in school.
Peter said after one month of seeing no trace of his brother, he started visiting prophets for help in desperation. The prophets told him his brother would be found alive.He later reported the case to the Inspector-General of Police Response Team, who commenced investigation and eventually tracked down the suspects.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the police eventually arrested Ibe, who employed Ikenna’skillers as guards.
The corpse of the deceased was later exhumed and deposited in the mortuary.
The police have said investigation was still ongoing in the case.
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