Takoradi kidnapping suspect abandons sandals as he flees mob

BY: Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu

Samuel Udoetuk Wills, the 28-year-old Nigerian national suspected to be the kingpin of alleged kidnappers responsible for the disappearance of three girls from Sekondi/Takoradi and its environs, had to abandon his bathroom sandals (Chalewote) as he dashed for police cover.

In pursuit of the escaping suspect were enraged parents and families, sympathisers and members of the public who sought to ‘teach him a lesson’ after court proceedings on Monday.

Drama unfolded immediately proceedings ended at the Takoradi Magistrate Court where Udoetuk is standing trial for escaping from lawful custody in relation to the disappearance of the girls.

Defying warnings of a possible contempt of court charges against them, the ‘eye-red’ family members and sympathisers rained tirades after him as they tried unsuccessfully to tear through a police protection ring ostensibly to manhandle him.

The police managed to whisk him to safety as he ran along with them into waiting vehicles. They sped off as soon as they could, but without his bathroom sandals. The ‘mob’ action was sparked by the suspect’s failure to produce persons he had claimed helped him to escape from police cells.

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The case has been adjourned to April 4, 2019.

Drama in court
Unlike the previous sittings, the families of the victims arrived in court early morning and waited to see the suspect and those he claimed helped him escape from cells.

Before the presiding judge, His Worship Michael Ampedu could take his seat, the anxious family members who could not contain the pain of seeing the man alleged to have the answers to the whereabouts of the girls, unleashed a barrage of invectives at him.

The suspect did not say a word during the outbursts, dressed in his usual multi-colored flowery shirt as he maintained his calm composure until the case was called.

I can understand
The judge, who apparently had heard the heated outbursts by the angry families, called for order, saying that he could understand the pain the parents were going through and their hope of welcoming their children.

During proceedings, the suspect could not tell the court the whereabouts of the witnesses he promised. He told the court that he had already mentioned the names to the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and the police to follow up and look for one Koda in a village in the Eastern Region.

He said if the security agencies were able to find Koda, he (Koda) would lead them to Kwesi who assisted him to escape from the cells at the Takoradi Central Police.

The judge implored him to appreciate the situation and help the investigators unravel the issues. He also asked him to stop antics aimed at delaying the case and sending police on a wild goose chase.

The escape
The suspect was in court on charges of escaping from lawful custody late last year in Takoradi. After his initial arrest, the suspect was sent to court on December 24, 2018 and remanded into police custody. He however managed to escape on December 30 2018 and was rearrested on January 3, 2019.

He was put before four on January 4, 2019 for escaping from lawful custody and was remanded in Prisons’ custody in Sekondi.

He appeared again on January 9 and the case adjourned to January 16 but he did not appear and was scheduled to be back in court on January 28 and 29. Again he did not appear as he was said to be assisting with investigation in Accra.

The suspect eventually appeared in court on February 11, 2019 claiming he was assisted to escape.

The girls
Udoetuk Wills has claimed he knew something about the kidnaping of the three girls between August and December 2018, and told the police that the girls are still alive.

The first victim, Priscilla Blessing Bentum, age 21 years, is a third-year student of the University of Education, Winneba who lives with the parents at Diabene, a suburb of Takoradi.

She was allegedly kidnapped on August 17, 2018 at Kanssaawurodu. Her parents had to pay a ransom of GH¢4,500 to the kidnappers in the hope of securing the release of their daughter.

The second victim, Ruth Love Quayson, age 18 years, is a senior high school graduate and also lives with the parents at Diabene.

She was kidnapped on December 4, 2018 at Butumegyabu Junction popularly known as BU Junction. Here again the alleged kidnappers managed to extort a ransom of GH¢1,300 from the parents who later made a report to the police.

The third victim, the youngest, Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie, is 15 years old and a first year student of Sekondi College (SEKCO). She was allegedly kidnapped on December 21, 2018 at a spot near Nkroful Junction in Takoradi.

The parents had to also pay a ransom of GH¢1,000 to the alleged kidnappers.