A suspected cultist and kidnap kingpin, Edidiong Bill, popularly known as ‘Barrister’, 36, yesterday narrated how his father stole from the ransom he collected when he brought the money home.

“Barrister” who was paraded by the police before newsmen in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, confessed that he orchestrated three kidnapping cases but succeeded in one.

According to him, N4.5million was paid as ransom but lamented that his father stole N3.8 million when he brought the cash home for safe-keeping.

He said: “I kidnapped the lady at Akpan Essien Street in Uyo and kept her in an uncompleted building at Obio Etoi, in Uyo and N4.5million was later paid as ransom. I don’t use to stay with my father but on that particular day, I went home with the money and hid it in the house, but I later found out that my father had stolen N3.8million from the total cash.”

The suspect, who the police described as a gang leader, claimed that he was jailed for a similar crime in 2014.

The state police command said that “Barrister” was arrested when his kidnapping ring was busted at Afaha Effiat community in Etinan local government area. The police described him as one of the most wanted gang leaders of the Vikings Confraternity. He allegedly masterminded several kidnappings and armed robbery activities on the Etinan-Uyo and Calabar Itu head bridge.

Parading “Barrister” and several other criminals yesterday at the Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia in Uyo, the state capital, the commissioner of police (CP), Mr. Zaki Ahmed, said the syndicates were smashed based on intelligence reports.

The police also paraded one Okon Essien and his wife, Peace, from Oron local government area for alleged conspiracy and killing of their son, David, whom they accused of being a wizard and responsible for their misfortunes.

The couple, who confessed to the crime, revealed the deceased was lured into an engine boat and taken across the river on the pretext of going to cut bamboo sticks in the swamp for the construction of their collapsed kitchen.

Essien said: “While at the swamp, we removed the already prepared fetish concoction called ‘asene’ and pumped it through his anus because anyone suspected to be a witch must die if he or she is actually a witch.” He stated that “the fact that the boy died meant that he was actually a wizard.”

Also, one Joseph Bassey of Obio Etoi in Uyo local government area was paraded for allegedly selling his nine-year-old son, David Bassey, for N200,000,

He claimed the agent, now at large, “only delivered N150,000 to me after the transaction”, adding that he had to sell the boy because he had no money to treat the kind of ailment he was suffering from.

A motorcyclist identified as Ubong Uduak, who diverted his passenger, Mandu Etim, of Ikot Idaha village in Ibiono Ibom local government area and taken to Nnung Ukim Ikono in Uyo local government area, where he raped her and seized her belongings including phone and cash was also paraded.

Ahmed (CP) said: “We have established a nexus between cultism and crimes in the state and we will stop at nothing to apprehend them for investigation and prosecution.

‘’Most of the crimes here are connected with one cult group or the other. Despite the fact that cultism has been outlawed by the state government some people still find refuge under it to commit heinous crimes.

“I am therefore calling on parents to monitor the activities of their wards and report promptly suspected movement of strangers to security agencies,” Ahmed said


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