2 Nigerians Arrested For Kidnapping Boy, 8

Two Nigerians, including a teenager, have been arrested for allegedly kidnapping an eight-year-old boy at the Latter-Day Saints Church at Achimota in Accra. The two suspected kidnappers are: Victor Aniete Solomon, 21, and his accomplice, who is 14 years old. The Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), Commissioner of Police (COP), Mr Prosper Agbogla, told journalists yesterday that personnel from the Anti-Armed Robbery Unit of the CID, acting on intelligence, arrested Solomon at 2p.m. on June 25, 2014 at Aflao in the Volta Region. Solomon then led the police to arrest his accomplice at his hideout at Sogakope, from where they were preparing to travel to Nigeria after collecting a ransom they demanded from the church. Victim abducted from church According to the Director-General, Solomon abducted the victim, during a service at the Achimota-ABC branch of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church on June 22, 2014. During the early part of June, Solomon attended the Achimota-ABC branch of the Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Church and introduced himself to the leadership as a dedicated member of the church in Nigeria. He informed the leaders that he had relocated to Ghana and, therefore, wanted to worship with them. On his second visit to the church, on June 22, 2014, Solomon sought permission from a missionary of the church during a short break of the service for the victim to take photographs of him (Solomon) with Solomon’s mobile phone. "In the twinkle of an eye, the suspect managed to sneak out of the church with the victim to the Tudu Lorry Station, where he boarded an Aflao-bound vehicle with the victim," Mr Agblor said. Demand for ransom On reaching Aflao, he said, Solomon called the missionary on the missionary’s mobile phone and demanded to talk to the bishop of the church. “When he was linked up, he informed the bishop that he had kidnapped the victim and wanted a ransom of GH¢10,000 for his release.” Mr Agblor said the suspect gave the bishop an MTN mobile money account and directed that the amount be paid into that account. The leaders of the church, together with the parents of the victim subsequently reported the incident to the Anti-Armed Robbery Unit. With the collaboration of other security agencies the suspect was traced to Aflao. Arrest at hideout Three days after the abduction, Solomon, not knowing that he was being monitored, came out of his hideout to collect the ransom, which had been deposited in the said MTN account. With the help of some witnesses he was identified and apprehended. During interrogation, Solomon admitted the offence and said that he had arrived in Ghana five weeks earlier with the intention of making quick money that would make his parents happy and proud of him. “So he contacted a fellow Nigerian and they conspired to kidnap someone and demand a ransom,” Mr Agblor said. Kidnapping creating panic Upon their arrest, the two led the police to an isolated house at Aflao where the victim was rescued and handed over to his parents. The CID Director-General observed that “the phenomenon of kidnapping is gradually creeping into Ghana thereby creating fear and panic.” He, therefore, advised the public to be wary of such miscreants in the society, especially at church, school, hospital and funeral gatherings. Meanwhile, the Accra Regional Police Command has expressed concern about the recent incidents of missing children at Dansoman in Accra and its environs. The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Sergeant Kwabena Danso, said “a number of cases of children disappearing from their homes, schools and other public places have been reported to the police and we are still searching for them”. He said in April 2014, two of such cases were reported to the Dansoman Police and called on the public to assist in the search for the missing children.