A commercial motorcyclist, identified simply as Ifeanyi, has been arrested for allegedly handing over a nurse, Mrs. Helen Ilonge (picture above), to ritual killers after collecting N10, 000.
Punch Metro learnt that Ilonge had on Tuesday last week took Ifeanyi’s
motorcycle on her way to Igoli along the Ogoja-Ikom Highway in Ogoja
Ilonge, the coordinator of Primary Health Care in Bekwarra Local
Government Area of Cross River State, was coming from a programme at the
Assemblies of God Church, Abakaliki in Ebonyi State, and had alighted
from a vehicle at Okpongrinya junction before taking the bike.
It was gathered that Ilonge (51) was beheaded while her other vital
reproductive parts such as breast and vagina were removed for ritual
Ilonge’s neighbour, Mrs. Theresa Idagwu, on Sunday
said, “Ifeanyi took the lady from Okpogrinya Junction on the pretence
that he was taking her to the village, which is 10 minutes drive from
the point. But along the way, he stopped and handed her over to
kidnappers at Ukpe.
Meanwhile, the woman had called her daughter, Victoria, around 9pm that
she had taken a bike at Okpogrinya Junction on her way to Igoli.
She said when she gets to her destination; she would call again so that
Victoria would boil water for her to take her bath. That was Ilonge’s
Repeated calls made to the woman’s line, according to Idagwu, indicated
that it was switched off.
She said Ilonge’s family became worried when the woman did not return
home. “We went everywhere- police stations, hospitals and even her
friends in Igoli, thinking that may be an accident had occurred along
the road but we got nothing,” Idagwu added.
Two days later, Idagwu said someone called Victoria on her phone and
informed her that her mother had been kidnapped. The caller demanded a
ransom of N50, 000 to be remitted in form of recharge cards.
She said, “Since her daughter could not raise the money, she rushed to
the Bekwarra LGA headquarters where the head of administration, Mr.
Bisong Bogbo, and the chairman, Mr. Linus Edeh, provided the money with
which she bought recharge cards and sent to the caller.
“The voice claimed that he needed the recharge cards so he could sell
and run away from his master who is a ritual killer. He claimed that he
had been serving his master for a long time and wanted to run away. He
said once he gets the cards, he will break the door where the nurse is
being kept and release her.”
The LGA’s head of administration, Bogbo, confirmed that the cards were
sent to the kidnapper through Victoria’s telephone.
He said immediately the alleged kidnapper confirmed receipt of the
cards; he switched off his telephone.
Luck, however, ran out of Ifeanyi. Policemen tracked his telephone line
and discovered that he called Victoria from Abuochiche.
Further investigations, it was gathered, showed that Ifeanyi had been
selling the cards in the village immediately he got them.
When he was arrested, Bogbo told our correspondent that Ifeanyi led the
police to one of the ritual killers identified simply as Elvis.
Elvis, according to Bogbo, confessed that the nurse had already been
killed and some of her vital organs removed before Ifeanyi asked for the
Elvis also said the remains of the woman were buried in a swamp.
At the council headquarters, one of the late nurse’s colleagues, Mr.
Gabriel Ogar, said she was probably the kindest woman he ever worked
Ogar said, “I have worked with five coordinators, but I know that she is
just the best so far. She worked to the admiration of Governor Liyel
Imoke and now she has been killed leaving her five children without a
“Her husband died 12 years ago and since then she has been the one
taking care of the children and only one has graduated. Please let the
government do something for those poor children.”
When contacted on Monday, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Osita
Ezechukwu, said the police were still investigating the matter.
He said four suspects had been apprehended by the anti-homicide unit,
adding that when the investigation was completed the suspects would be
“We have taken confessional statement from them. Those who are not
involved have been allowed to go while those who are involved are still
in detention,” Ezechukwu said.
Culled from Punch