A seven-year-old pupil of Martha Dei Primary School in Ogoja, Cross River State, Williams Ebele, said the kidnappers that abducted him on June 10, 2013 gave him ice cream to lure him to their hideout in the bush.
Ebele, who was abducted for four days before he was rescued by the police, also said the kidnappers took him once to a nearby river to take his bath.
He spoke on Friday at the headquarters of the Cross River State Police Command in Calabar, where two of his abductors alongside six other arrested criminals, were paraded by the state Police Commissioner, Mr. Kola Sodipo.
The names of the arrested suspected kidnappers were Mark Odey (27) and Julius Ogbor (22). Other paraded suspects who were linked to armed robbery, cultism and communal clash comprised Victor Edu (21); Ubong Udo (21); Anthony Etowa (30); Mathew Akpana (26); and Ikechukwu Okereke (30).
Items recovered from the suspects were one GPMG gun, two AK49 rifles, one AK47 rifle, one assault rifle, seven rounds of GPMG live ammunition, eight empty magazines of AK rifles and speedboat W23 fitted with 200HP Yamaha engine.
Ebele said he was given only biscuits (cabin) to eat for the four days he stayed in the hideout.
He said, “They (kidnappers) came to my school after we had closed and said my father was calling me. I had not seen them before but followed them because they gave me ice cream. They took me to the bush and they gave me cabin biscuit for four days.
“On the day I was rescued, they gave me their mobile phone to speak with my daddy and I told him that I was in the bush and that he should come and carry me. That was how he came with police to rescue me. Some of the kidnappers ran away.”
One of the arrested kidnappers, Julius Ogbor (22), who hails from Yala Local Government Area of the state, said he was introduced into the crime because he needed money.
Ogbor said, “We went to the boy’s school after discovering that the father could cough up some money. We demanded N5m ransom but he (the boy’s father) later agreed to pay N1m.
“We were waiting to receive the N1m when the father came with police to our hideout in the bush and some of us were apprehended.”
However, the state Commissioner of Police, Kola Sodipo, said the rescue was one of the numerous breakthroughs the command had achieved while combating crime in the last one month.
Sodipo said two suspected sea pirates were on June 9 shot dead by men of his command while attempting to attack a Nigerian Ports Authority vessel, MT AUCKLAND, along the Calabar-Oron waterways.
He said the suspects were shot during a gun duel which ensued after the pirates were accosted by a team of Marine Police on patrol along the Calabar-Oron channel as they were about to attack the vessel.
Sodipo also said the command arrested 27 suspected armed robbers, four other kidnappers and 15 cultists during the period under review, adding that all arrested suspects would soon be charged to court.