Chinaza Philip-Okoye, a suspected notorious criminal linked to several kidnapping cases in Abuja, has claimed that he is actually an armed robber, not a kidnapper. This revelation came during his interview with reporters at a parade of criminal suspects at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command.
Philip-Okoye narrated the incident that led to his arrest by the police, explaining his involvement with a gang still at large. He stated, “I want to categorically state that I’m not a kidnapper, I am not a kidnapper. We only patrol at night and collect cars, and we take them to Kano for sale.” He further described how their plan to rob a man and take his car escalated unexpectedly when their leader, referred to as ‘yellow,’ decided to take the victim along.
The Nigeria Police Force had earlier paraded Philip-Okoye on a stretcher at the Force Intelligence Response Team base in Guzape, Federal Capital Territory, following his apprehension in Kaduna. Philip-Okoye and his gang, intercepted at a fueling station, were transporting their victim, Segun Akinyemi, from Abuja to Kano State when caught.
The police were alerted to Akinyemi’s abduction when the kidnappers drove through Rita Lori in Garki, Abuja. This led to a coordinated response from the FCT Police Command and neighboring states’ police formations, eventually leading to the rescue of the victim and the arrest of Philip-Okoye.
The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, detailed the events leading to the interception of the kidnappers and the rescue of the victim. Adejobi revealed that during their escape attempt, the gang was intercepted by police operatives at a filling station in Kaduna. While three gang members managed to escape, Philip-Okoye was apprehended, and the victim was rescued unharmed.
This incident highlights the ongoing challenges faced by law enforcement in addressing kidnapping and armed robbery in Nigeria, particularly in regions like Abuja where these crimes have become increasingly prevalent.