President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on behalf of the government and people of the country commiserated with the families of three University of Port Harcourt students reportedly murdered by their kidnappers and their bodies buried in a shallow grave in April.
The President also extended condolences to the university authorities and the Rivers State Government over the unfortunate incident.
Describing the tragic occurrence as “sad and heinous,” President Buhari said he regrets that the “evil perpetrators have cut short the prospectively bright journey of these youths.”
He prayed that God will comfort all those who mourn these young students, and grant their souls eternal rest.
President Buhari, while noting that the Nigerian Police Anti-Kidnapping Unit has apprehended one of the suspected perpetrators, further directed the Police Authorities to intensify search for the remaining suspects and bring them to justice.
According to the President, “This administration will continue to equip the law enforcement and security agencies to bring to an end the evil activities of kidnappers in the country.”
The Rivers State Police Command had announced the arrest of three suspected members of a gang of kidnappers who allegedly kidnapped and killed three undergraduates of the University of Port Harcourt, Choba.
The suspects, who were reported to have been apprehended on Thursday by the Anti-kidnap Unit of the command, were alleged to have buried the corpse of the three students in a shallow grave at Etio community in Eleme Local Government Area.
The three undergraduate students of the federal government owned university were reported to have been kidnapped on April 7, 2020 and brutally murdered the same day.
On Friday, Friday Akpan, one of the three arrested suspects, claimed to be an indigene of a community in Akwa Ibom State and told pressmen in the forest that two of his colleagues gang-raped the female among their victims, Joy Adoki, before eventually killing all their three hostages.
The two other murdered hostages were identified as Nelson Nwafor and Fortune Obimba.
“We held the three persons at the sand field. All of us, five in number, killed them. They (victims) were three: two young men and a woman. Two among us gang-raped the female. Bright brought the gun we used in killing them. I am a member of Iceland,” Akpan said.
The Rivers State Command Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Nnamdi Omoni, said the Anti-Kidnap Unit, commanded by Chief Superintendent of Police Collins Shadar, swung into action as soon as the kidnap of the three victims was reported to the unit.
“They confessed to kidnapping the three undergraduates and taking them to the forest. They killed them and buried them in a shallow grave. They had earlier demanded ransom before they killed their victims.
“Their confession after they were arrested led us to this forest, where we recovered the bodies of these undergraduates. We have identified the corpses. One is Nelson Nwafor, the female is Joy Adoki, while the other one is Fortune Obimba,” PPRO Nnamdi Omoni said.
One AK-47 rifle, one pistol, three magazines and 72 rounds of live ammunition were recovered from the suspects, the PPRO added.