Police arrest killers of tricycle operators

By Cyril Okonkwo, Enugu

The Enugu State Police Command has arrested two suspects who specialise in snatching of tricycles.

The Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Mr. Nwodibo Ekechukwu, who briefed the media on Tuesday, gave the names of the suspects as Kennedy Ihunegbo and Nonso Azubuike

He said the duo had escaped from Keffi in Nasarawa State, Northern Nigeria where they had been operating  and relocated to Enugu in early January 2016.

The commissioner stated that the two suspects initially engaged in crimes of killing commercial motorcycles riders in Abuja before spreading to Nasarawa state 2014.

Mode of operation
According to the CP, the duo commenced operations in January 2016 by stopping and entering tricycles along Ogui Road, Mosque area of Artisan and requesting the rider on each occasion to drop them at their purported building site at along Ugwuaji off the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

“They would request the tricycle operator to carry blocs for them in the tricycle to another location. The tricycle operator would be hit by them with a very big iron hammer on the head repeatedly as he bent to carry the bloc till he dies.

“This was the method used in killing their seven victims on two dates each in January and March, 2016 at various times of the days. In an instance the head of a victim was shattered. The two would therefore take away the victim’s tricycle and sell it,” he narrated.

Mr Ekechukwu said the suspects forged a dealer’s receipt of DON investment Limited Nnewi, Anambra State to convince prospective buyers to purchase the tricycles.

Mr Ekechukwu said one Mr Emmanuel Ani of No.3 Muluakor street, Ugwo Ogo, Abakpa Nike, Enugu and Oforbuike Eleke of Ngoigboukwu, Aguata, Anambra state, were among the buyers of the seven robbed tricycles, which were sold for between N250,000 and N350,000, in Enugu and Nnewi.

Mr Ekechukwu also said one of the suspects, Kennedy Ihunegbo, took ill and was taken to Enugu state University Teaching Hospital Parklane, where he died as he was receiving treatment on the March 19.

Items recovered
The CP further disclosed that among the items recovered from the suspects are two of the seven robbed TVS tricycles, one ford car with registration No. AJ 656 EKJ, the big iron hammer used for killing their victims and a shovel for digging the shallow graves.

He explained that the suspects were luring out non-Igbo speaking tricycle riders apparently to avoid being understood by them in their conversations in Igbo language.