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Sunday, December 5, 2021
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The story of Obiọma Nwankwo, popularly known as Osisikankwu will always remain indelible in the history of kidnapping in Nigeria.

Osisikankwu is from Ogwe area of Ukwa West LGA of Abia State. He started as a tout in Umuahia before graduating into kidnapping.

When he started his kidnapping oddysey, Osisikankwu recruited more than 2000 men into the nefarious job of kidnapping and they terrorised the whole of Abia State especially Aba and environs, even down to Oyigbo in Rivers State.

It got so bad that at a point that Aba became a ghost town as the kidnappings got intensified. So many people relocated to their villages. Many wealthy people in Aba left for other states.

Abia State government’s officials were not spared. Hundreds were abducted, tortured, killed and made to cough out millions to free themselves from the shackles of captivity.

There were also ugly stories of rape and murder. There were numerous gun battles in broad daylight. Many people lost their lives.

They mainly targeted the affluent class, expatriates and highly placed government officials of Abia State. The Government of Abia State then under the leadership of Dr Theodore Ahamefula Orji was handicapped. Nothing could be done as hordes of Aba residents were either killed by the rampaging Aba kidnap gang.


The lists of victims go like this;

1. Three Chinese and two German nationals together with Nine Nigerians working for Nigerian Steel Company, Aba, were kidnapped by Osisikankwu’s gang. They were later released after ransom was paid.

2. Mrs Victoria Ori, wife of an rich man from Ohafia was abducted by a 4-member gang who demanded for a whooping sum of ₦20 million naira. Mrs Ori was released after a reasonable amount was paid.

3. Three British Nationals and a Columbian contract staff of NetcoDietmann working at Shell’s Power Plant in Afam VI, Oyigbo LGA of Rivers State were kidnapped by gunmen on January, 12. Their vehicle was blocked on their way back to Oyigbo at Owaza junction in Ukwa West LGA of Abia State. They were taken away after shooting to death a mobile police officer escorting them. Ransom was paid before they regained their freedom.

4. An Indian national working with an electronic company in Aba was killed by a five-man kidnap gang after he refused to follow the men in their car. They fled after killing the man.
5. Three Journalists, together with their driver, travelling through Aba after a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State were whisked away at Umuafuoka junction near Ukpakiri, Obingwa LGA of Abia State by Osisikankwu’s men. ₦30 million was paid before the men were released.

6. Osisikankwu’s gang robbed five commercial banks in the Osisioma area of Aba, Killing all policemen and security on guard. The affected banks were closed down till date.

7. On Saturday, September 25, two mobile policemen on patrol in their new Hilux were kille  d in an ambush at Umuafor Ukwu, Obingwa lga of Abia State by Osisikankwu gang.

8. Masked gunmen numbering about 15 stormed the 5000 capacity of Jerusalem for All Nations Church at Umuneke Community and bundled away the church’s senior pastor. Lambert Nmecha a politician was killed during the operation.

9. A gynaecologist and proprietor of Victory Christian Hospital at Obohia Road, Aba, Dr Stanley Uche was picked up by Osisikankwu he travelled down to Imo State for a family burial with his wife. The wife was later released to go and organis

Abia State governor Sen T.A Orji onground to confirm the death of Osisikankwu

e a ₦30 million ransom. She later brought the money only to be given the corpse of her husband.

10. Osisikankwu and his men stormed Abayi International School, Osisioma, Aba, kidnapped 15 pupils of the school. This was the height of all their atrocities.

Though the school children were later released unscathed but the story has gone viral, even capturing the attention of International media who expressed disgust at the kidnap crisis engulfing Aba.

Following the abduction of Aba School Children, the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan intervened. He sent troop of Joint Military Task Force to Abia State on a mission to crack down on the kidnappers.

Osisikankwu was declared wanted by the Nigeria Army and Police.

The Military Task Force worked hard until December 12, when they successfully caught and killed Osisikankwu at Ugwuati Evil Forest in Ukwa West LGA of Abia State, after a fierce gun duel between the Joint Military Task Force and Osisikankwu’s gang. It was a war of charms.

The soldiers after emerging victorious displayed the body of the kidnap kingpin in an open van round Aba to the jubilation of Aba residents.

Osisikankwu’s girlfriend, Ogochi was also arrested during the operation. Ogochi who was reportedly three months pregnant pointed out the exact locations where Osisikankwu’ hideout was.

A mop of operation was carried out by the JTF in the Ugwuati Evil Forest, led to the recovery of the following:

48 empty magazine of AK 47

3,848 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition

538 rounds of 7.62 mm Nato

41 expended cases of 7.62mm special ammunition

Dynamite and 3 RPG prima.

The Abia State Government, under the Theodore Orji kedu administration, described the killing of Osisikankwu as the ‘triumph of light over darkness’ and commended the JTF for their dogged fight against the notorious Kidnapper.

Since his death, Abia has had relative peace from the menace of kidnapping.

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