by Stanley Azuakola
Mr. Olisagbo Ifedike, 36, has been on every single most wanted list in the South-Eastern state of Anambra for the past few years. He’d been a source of headache for the state’s police commissioner, Bala Nasarawa. Now, Nasarawa doesn’t have to worry about that problem any more as he has the famed robber and kidnapper locked up in a police cell awaiting trial.
Some of Ifedike’s most notorious crimes include: kidnap of three traditional rulers (the traditional ruler of Adazi Nnukwu, the traditional ruler of Ihembosi and the traditional ruler of Ukpo), the attack on two police stations at Amichi and Ukpor, both in Nnewi South local government area, the murder of five police policemen at Okija in Ihiala local government area, the killing of three policemen at Ozubulu and other high profile kidnapping incidents in many parts of the state.
The arrest of Ifedike goes to show the importance of citizens cooperating with the police in providing relevant information. Early this week, a concerned individual worried about the happenings at Orafitite in Ekwusigo local government area of Anambra state where Olisa Ifedike has been “celebrating crime for years,” provided the police with critical information that helped in busting the alleged criminal.
According to a Vanguard report, “It was said that almost every crime committed in the state had his (Ifedike’s) signature as members of his gang are scattered all over the state and beyond.”
Hear police commissioner Nasarawa:
“This suspect has been a most wanted armed robbery/kidnapping kingpin responsible for series of high profile kidnappings, armed robberies and murder, including the kidnap of Igwe of Ihembosi in Ekwusigo local government area in 2010 and the recent kidnap of the traditional ruler of Ukpo in Dunukofia local government area, Igwe Robbert Eze. His gang is also responsible for the killing of five policemen at Okija on 22nd June, 2012, as well as murder of three policemen at Ozubulu on 2nd April, 2012 and the violent attack on Amichi and Ukpor police divisions in Nnewi South local government area on 4th April, 2012.”
Nasarawa disclosed that some of the guns and ammunition recovered at Ifedike’s house were those carted away when the gang invaded the police stations at Amichi and Ukpor and razed them down.
Ifedike is a wealthy man. While he claims to be doing business in Ghana, his real source of income comes form kidnapping and collecting millions in ransom.
And he’s done well for himself with the proceeds of his crime — hotels in Ghana, Rivers, Abia and Anambra; fleet of SUV cars; and stately mansions. As a matter of fact, reports say that at the time of his arrest, he was coming into his compound with three SUV cars and blaring siren.
Subsequently, the governor joined in demolishing building in Ifedike’s compound. During the raid they discovered sophisticated arms and ammunition in a plastic cover concealed underground behind the bungalow.
In an armoury found in the compound were 27 AK 47 riffles, one K2 riffle, two type-06 riffles, one General Purpose Machine Gun, one Rocket launcher, 17 rockets, six pump action guns, three dane guns, one Barrett pistol and 13 Rocket grenades, as well as 12,800 rounds of AK 47 live ammunition, 530 rounds of LAR ammunition, 95 rounds of GPMG live ammunition, 1000 rounds of K2 live ammunition and 143 magazines.
Apart from an underground structure in the compound suspected to be a place for keeping victims, there was also an extended building with toilet facilities behind the bungalow suspected to be a place he was using as a cell. In a small building attached to the wall near the gate was a shrine allegedly used by the father of the suspect, Mr. Patrick Ifedike, alias Ogbujingidi, who is a native doctor.
Before the demolition of the buildings, it was discovered that people of the community who were not happy with what was happening in the area, had organized a mob action and they torched the buildings, an indication that they were no longer prepared to tolerate Ifedike’s life style in the area. As one community put it, the young man was showing a bad example to other youths.
The President General of Oraifite Improvement Union, Mr. Raphael Nwike described the decision to demolish Ifedike’s buildings under the supervision of Governor Obi as a divine intervention, lamenting that the area had been held captive for a long time by criminal elements.
He believed that with what happened in his community, youths of the area would realise that all that glitters is not gold and that the best way to living a good life is to engage in genuine business.