Kelvin Onyiara, the dreaded kidnap kingpin who abducted human rights lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, had recruited and trained over 300 persons as kidnappers before he was finally arrested in Port Harcourt.

A member of his syndicate, Akpevwe Ojijevwe Richard, disclosed this to journalists in Benin this morning at the premises of 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army, where he was paraded with six other suspects arrested for various crimes.

Richard was arrested at Kokori, hometown of Kelvin, in connection with the kidnap of one Dr. Ona Ekhomu and his wife along Benin-Auchi road in Edo state.

He confessed that he started out as an Okada rider before going into oil bunkering and later graduated as a kidnapper under the tutelage of Kelvin Onyiara.

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Richard also disclosed that Kelvin operated across the Niger Delta states of Edo, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers, with different gang members whom he nick-named for each operation, to conceal means of tracing them easily.

According to the suspect, one Kingsley Moses prepared the charms for protection from bullet wounds and other dangers in each operation.

He confessed to have participated in various kidnapping operations with huge ransom collected.

Others paraded included Kefas Warili a fake army personnel who was picked up at Ibilo, in Akoko-Edo local government of Edo state.

There was also Ernest Egbenayaloben who engaged in illegal sales of weapons and ammunition under the guise of selling building materials.

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—Jethro Ibileke/Benin



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