Ebonyi State police command is currently battling how to explain the mysterious disappearance of an alleged notorious kidnapper, Alioke Ogonna (aka Pilot), from its custody on Monday.
Ogonna was earlier arrested in August over his alleged involvement in the kidnap and murder of late 60-year-old Catherine Okorie, an indigene of Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State in January.
INDEPENDENT gathered that Ogonna, who is said to hail from Ezza North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, escaped from police custody without any trace as to his whereabouts, although he had been paraded at the Ebonyi State Police Command Headquarters alongside other suspects on August 7.
The suspect had reportedly earlier confessed to driving the car that conveyed the late Mrs. Okorie to Lokpanta forest that fateful day she was kidnapped.
In an interview with journalists during his parade, he narrated how the deceased was shot and those who masterminded the kidnap operation, alleging that a politician from the area was at the centre of the kidnap.
Following his parade, the police told newsmen that the suspect would be immediately charged to court to be tried alongside other ten suspects connected to the crime.
Our correspondent, however, learnt that the suspect had been in police custody for about three months without being charged to court until his recent mysterious disappearance.
Ogonna’s disappearance with other suspects, according to an anonymous police source, is still shrouded in mystery as there is no evidence indicating how the suspected kidnapper and his accomplices escaped from custody.
In an interview, one of the sons of the late Catherine Okorie, Daniel Onyekachi Okorie, accused the Ebonyi State police command of conniving with the alleged sponsors of the attack on his mother to allow the suspect escape from custody.
He explained that his family was not surprised at the recent development, adding that the way and manner the police have been handling the matter has been rather worrisome and disappointing.
It would be recalled that the late Catherine was kidnapped by her abductors on January 18, after which she was killed and buried in a forest bordering Lokpanta in Umunneochi and Awgu LGAs of Abia and Enugu states.
Efforts to get the reaction of the Ebonyi State police command on the matter proved abortive as the state Commissioner of Police, Titus Lamorde, failed to respond to calls and text messages put across him as at press time.