3rd T’di Kidnapper Lands

Suspect John Chika, the third suspect in the T’di Kidnap case

The third suspect in the kidnapping and subsequent killing of the four Takoradi girls has been repatriated to Ghana to face the law.

John Chika Nnodim, a Nigerian, was arrested in his home country in connection with the kidnapping of the four girls bringing the arrest to three.

The suspect was arrested in August by the Nigerian police with cooperation from their Ghanaian counterparts and extradited to Ghana, where the crime was committed, for further action.

The two arrested earlier are Samuel Uduotuk Wills, the prime suspect in the case, and John Orji, both of whom are currently facing trial.

A police source told DAILY GUIDE that Chika was brought to Ghana in the care of two Nigerian security operatives on Wednesday.

“The suspect was handed over to the Criminal Investigations Department on Wednesday evening. He is expected to be taken to court tomorrow for remand by the police,” the source said.

Chika is believed to be a member of a child kidnapping syndicate operating between Nigeria and Ghana.

The previous suspects were arrested in Ghana and Togo in connection with the kidnapping of Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21; Priscilla Mantebea Kuranchie, 18; Ruth Love Quayson, 18; and Ruth Abakah, 19.

They all got missing between August 2018 and December 2018; it was later established that they had been murdered.

The acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP), James Oppong-Boanuh, who confirmed the murder of the girls on Monday evening, told the media that police investigations revealed that John Chika took part in the kidnap of the girls.

A special police operation led to the discovery of human parts believed to be those of the girls at Kasaworodo in August, this year.

Their bodies were retrieved from a septic tank of a house the main suspect, Samuel Uduotuk Wills, lived before his arrest.

DNA tests were run on the skeletal remains by the Police Administration and the results were announced Monday night by the acting IGP, confirming that they were those of the missing girls.

IGP Oppong-Boanuh in announcing the DNA report had said the samples taken matched the skeletal remains found.

Thus, the skulls and other human remains retrieved over a month ago by the forensic team of the Ghana Police Service at the hideout of the prime suspect in the case, Samuel Wills, were that of the missing girls, the IGP confirmed.

As a result, the police concluded that Priscilla Blessing Bentum, Priscilla Mantebea Kuranchie, Ruth Love Quayson, and Ruth Abakah, were dead.

The IGP’s announcement was immediately met with rejection by three of the families.

Intelligence Failure

The IGP gave various reasons why the police failed to obtain and act on accurate intelligence to rescue the missing girls. According to him, the suspects gave incoherent reports which led the police on a wild goose chase.

The IGP said suspect Samuel Wills admitted in an earlier interrogation that he together with suspects John Orji and John Chika kidnapped the young girls and sent them by road to a location in Nigeria known as ‘Baby Factory’ in Anambra State.

“The evaluation of this confession and other intelligence reports from Nigeria on the location and modus operandi of this ‘baby factory’ in Nigeria culminated in an assessment by the investigating team at this stage that they had a fair idea of the location of the girls and that it would be possible to bring them home,” he said.

He said the Ghanaian police, therefore, mounted surveillance at the location the suspect mentioned as places where the girls were sent and directed investigation teams there, with the hope of tracing and rescuing the girls.

The IGP, however, noted that when the second suspect, John Orji, was arrested and questioned, he admitted knowing Samuel but denied knowledge of any kidnapping.

“The two suspects were put together for questioning and while Samuel insisted that John knew where the girls were, John on the other hand maintained his denial of any involvement in the kidnapping. Efforts to locate the girls in Nigeria also yielded no results. The Nigerian leads were assessed to have grown cold and unreliable,” he said.

Mr. Oppong-Boanuah continued that on August 2, 2019, the investigating team decided to re-examine all available facts associated with the case and went to further search the residence of Samuel Wills’ in Takoradi.

He noted that bones suspected to be human remains were retrieved from the septic tank together with two sets of earrings and fingernails with artificial teeth.

By Linda Tenyah-Ayettey