A trader turned kidnapper, Mr Njoku Michael, has narrated how his friend, a Fulani herdsman, lured him into the crime during the last Christmas and New Year period.
According to him, the Fulani herdsman who lured him into the crime was his customer.
Njoku narrated this to journalists when he was paraded by the spokesman of the Ebonyi State Police Command, Joshua Akandu, in Abakaliki.
He was paraded alongside 16 other persons by the Ebonyi State Police Command.
The suspect explained that the herdsman came to his shop on December 13, 2023, with his cattle and he was impressed by the number of cattle he had.
Njoku said he asked the herder to lend him N50,000 but instead of giving him the money, he told him he had a job for him in Afikpo in Ebonyi State.
According to him, he was told that all he had to do was put manure in bags “and if I worked hard, I would earn N30,000 or N40,000 in four days,” adding that he was desperate to get money to stock up his shop for the festivities and overjoyed that he could work for four days and make up to N40,000.
Njoku claimed he joined in the kidnap operation because he would be killed by the herders if he didn’t.
He said they probably brought him in to join the operation to prove that Igbos are also involved in kidnapping in the southeast region and not just Fulani herdsmen.
Njoku said he was later taken to a thick forest where two of the herder’s brothers joined them, but the herder left them and later returned with a gun and a piece of cloth.
“When I asked him what we were going to do with a gun, he asked me: ‘I think you said you were looking for money? This is the time we are going to look for the money,’” he said.
He also confessed that a four-member-gang led by a Fulani herdsman kidnapped some returnees from the United States of America during the Yuletide celebration.
“We were four persons who carried out the kidnap but it was only two of us who were captured by the police and we don’t know where the others are.”
Njoku disclosed that they received a ransom of N40 million, in naira and dollars for the crime, but denied that the gang killed any of its victims, saying that the death of a lady in captivity was caused by fear.