CP Disu

…Dismissed for kidnapping, poses as Inspector to defraud people

…Command celebrates harvests of arrests, bust syndicates, recovers 79 Cars

Juliana Francis

The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu and his lieutenants recently celebrated harvests of arrest and bursting of suspected car theft syndicates in the state.

According to the CP, the command arrested 26 suspects, among them two gang leaders, identified, Chidozie Anthony Onyekwe and Kelechi Uzogwe.

The suspects were alleged to specialised in vandalising stolen cars, which they would later sell as scraps.

In total over 79 cars have been linked to the car theft syndicates paraded by the Disu.

Speaking on the case of the fake police inspector, Monday Igbali 43, who has three stolen cars in his possession, Disu said: “The Rivers State Police Command commenced an investigation in response to a report filed on the 11th of August, 2023, by Fibika Kingsley that his Lexus EX330 had been stolen at gunpoint along Agip road by five gunmen. The investigations led to the arrest of Igbali.

“He is a former Police Sergeant who was dismissed after being indicted in a kidnapping case in 2021. Since his dismissal, he has continued to parade himself as a Police officer, even claiming to be an Inspector of Police, a rank he did not attain before his dismissal.

“He works with a gang of five, with four gang members still at large. He has robbed a total of nine cars and sold them between N1.3 million and N2.5 million each.

“He was arrested on the 8th of March 2024, at his home in Chokocho, Etche after the Police conducted due surveillance following investigations. We have recovered three cars from him; Lexus 330, Lexus IS250 and Toyota Highlander.”

Disu explained that most of the car theft gang members, paraded met in the Correctional Centre and were ex-convicts.

The CP said: “They utilize spare keys and master keys to steal the cars. They carry passengers to evade arrest. Kelechi removes the trackers in the vehicles. We have five ex-convicts among them. We have two sets of receivers. They have native Doctors. Some of the recovered cars are here. There are 11 cars and eight have been released to the owners.

“Others have been released to other owners. There is also a team which follows you with a motorbike from the bank. Some firearms have been recovered from them.”

The Disu said his Command arrest itemised the exhibits recovered as the arrest of a car theft syndicate and recovery of eight cars. He said that Police also arrested stolen vehicles and recovered four cars.

The CP also mentioned that a fake Police Inspector was arrested and three cars were recovered from him.

Speaking on the car theft syndicate, which the Command recovered eight cars from, Disu said: “The syndicate began operating in January 2023 and has been responsible for the theft of more than 40 cars.

“They all came to Port Harcourt from different states to perpetuate their criminal enterprise. Their operation sees them snatch cars or steal them from where they are parked.

“The cars are then classified into those to be sold and those to be sent to a scrap yard in Mgbuka-Obosi, Onitsha, to be ‘butchered’ for spare parts. Their areas of operation include Akpajo, Eleme Junction, Trailer Park, Eleme, Owerri, Aba, and Onitsha.”

He also disclosed that the names of the suspects as Chidozie Anthony Onyekwe, 34, Kelechi Uzo-Igwe, 30, Isaac Udofia, aka Atiku, 43, Godwin Udota, aka Tommy, 41, Ikechukwu Eyinaya, 42, Chibueze Dominic aka Chimez, 33, Justice Saturday, 25, Sunday Okah, aka Seke, 31.

Disu explained that one of the suspects, Chidozie Anthony Onyekwe, 34, came to Port Harcourt in 2015. He had previously been arrested as an accomplice to a certain Ade, now deceased, in 2023 for dealing in stolen vehicles. He is also involved in oil bunkering.

The CP also said that Onyekwe is the leader of this syndicate that utilizes different illegal means to acquire cars. The syndicate used to snatch vehicles at gunpoint, move cars from where they were parked by owners and serve as middlemen to trade stolen vehicles.

Onyekwe has so far directly robbed five cars and traded over 20 stolen vehicles. Acting on intelligence, he was arrested on January 20, 2024, at Igwuruta while fixing his car tyres at a vulcaniser’s. Recovered from him are a Toyota Matrix and a Toyota Camry.

Another suspect, Kelechi Uzo-Igwe, has been in Port Harcourt since 2008. He is a mechanic and electrician by trade but specializes in identifying and disabling digital trackers in cars.

Uzo-Igwe became a partner of Chidozie Anthony in March 2023 and has so far disabled trackers in over 20 stolen cars.

The cars are then parked in his workshop at Akpajo or kept in a compound in Agbonchia, Eleme. Together with Chidozie, they sell high-end cars to dealers in other states and transport the rest to a scrap yard in Mgbuka-Obosi, Onitsha, managed by Sunday Okah.

Kelechi is also responsible for recruiting new members of the group.

He was arrested in his workshop in Akpajo on February 12, 2024.

Another member of the car theft syndicate is Isaac Udofia aka Atiku, who has been in Port Harcourt for over 20 years. He was incarcerated between 2021 and 2022 and joined the car-snatching gang upon his return from prison. He was recruited by Kelechi and served as the car break-in expert.

Udofia’s main job was to break into parked cars and drive them to Kelechi’s workshop or any location designated to him. He has driven seven such cars and was paid 50,000 for each successfully conveyed vehicle.

He is also directed to cars that other gang members have trailed, and he uses a master key to open and hardwire them. He was arrested when he went to pick up a Toyota Corolla from  Eleme Junction on 15th February 2024.

Disu also explained that another member of the gang, Godwin Udota, aka Tommy, arrived in Port Harcourt in 2002 as a domestic help but later delved into a life of crime.

He stole his first car, a Nissan Sunny, in February 2023 at Trailer Park, Onne and sold it for N150,000 to a scrap dealer in Aba.

He partnered with other gang members to steal two L300 buses at Obibo and sold them to Kelechi for N300,000 each. He has so far stolen and sold four cars.

He was arrested at Rumuola on 15th February 2024 in response to intelligence reports.

Mr Ikechukwu Eyinaya, also a member of the gang, resides in Abia State but comes into Port Harcourt anytime the gang has an operation. He is also an Ex-convict who was in prison between 2012 and 2015 for involuntary manslaughter.

He plays the role of trailing cars and stealing them when the owner parks them. He has stolen cars in Owerri, Aba and Port Harcourt. He has stolen four cars; A Toyota Camry 2008 (Owerri), a Toyota Camry 2005 (Port Harcourt), a Toyota Camry 1999 pencil light (Aba), and a Mitsubishi Bus (Port Harcourt). He was arrested at Eneka on the 13th of February, 2024

Chibueze Dominic, aka Chimez, used to live in Imo State, but relocated to Port Harcourt in 2018 and is a resident of Iloabuchi Street, Diobu, Port Harcourt.

He was recruited into the gang by Kelechi and is adept at snatching cars at gunpoint, together with another gang member, Lucky, still at large. He operates mainly in Eleme and has snatched two cars so far.

Even when Kelechi was in Police custody, Chimez continued to call him to inform him of car theft deals. He was arrested at Rumuola on the 13th of February, 2024, while he was on his way to carry out a robbery at Eleme.

There is also Justice Saturday, who relocated to Port Harcourt in 2020 from Imo State. He is a close ally to Chimez and was with him on his way to perpetuate a car robbery at Eleme when he was apprehended at Rumuola on the 13th of February.

Mr Sunday Okah owns a scrap yard in Mgbuka-Obosi in Onitsha, Anambra State. He receives stolen cars from members of the gang, and within hours of the cars reaching his scrap yard, they are butchered, and the parts are sold off to waiting dealers.

He has so far bought five cars from Chidozie and nearly 30 cars from Kelechi. He buys each car for between N300,000 to N800,000 depending on the condition.

He has drivers that he sends to different cities to drive down stolen cars to his scrap yard. Cities include Owerri, Aba, Enugu, Abakiliki and Port Harcourt.

He was arrested at his scrap yard in Onitsha on the 29th of February, 2024.

Similarly, the Command responding to a report of a stolen vehicle, a 2012 Toyota Hilux (diesel engine), on February 14th, 2024, at Elelenwo by a staff of Anajul Nigeria Limited, men of the Rivers State Police Command launched an investigation that uncovered a duo of middlemen who transport stolen vehicles to Northern Nigeria.

On February 20, 2024, the stolen car was spotted at a mechanic’s workshop.

Disu said: “My men immediately arrested the driver of the car, who confessed that he had been given the car to take to Ntoro, Kano State, that morning, but the car developed a fault, and he needed to fix it before heading out. He was paid NGN 80,000 for the delivery of the car. The following Investigations led to the arrest of one more suspect. The Police are working to apprehend other accomplices complicit in the case.”

He said that those arrested in connection with the crime were Muhammed Hassan and Musa Usman.

Musa is from Borno state and has a car stand in Elelenwo, where he operates his illegal trade in stolen cars.

According to the Police, he allegedly confessed to having dealings with two other men, Alhaji Abdallah and Alhaji Ali, who are currently at large in Cameroon.

He received N300,000 from Alhaji Ali to send the stolen vehicle to a client in Ntoro, Kano State. He then contracted the delivery to Mohammed Hassan, his regular driver, to convey vehicles to different locations for him.

He was arrested on the 23rd of February, 2024, at his home after his driver was apprehended.

CP Disu disclosed that four vehicles were recovered from Musa and he identified them as Toyota Hilux (Ash coloured), Toyota Hilux (White Coloured), Mercedes Benz (Blue coloured) and Toyota Infinity (Grey coloured).

His partner in crime, Hassan is described by the police as Musa’s ally and his driver. Hassan is said to be responsible for driving the stolen vehicles to numerous clients in Northern Nigeria.

Dis disclosed that Hassan was on his way to deliver the stolen Hilux when the Police arrested him at Elelenwo on the 20th of February, 2024.

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