Dreaded Port Harcourt kidnap kingpin and pirate, Prosper David, popularly known as Militant General, has died from injuries sustained during a gun battle with operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT, in his hideout in Bayelsa State.
Johnson Dennis David, as gathered, was a former militant who initially embraced the Federal Government’s amnesty programme, but later formed a kidnapping gang.
He was also alleged to have commandeered a water way in Port Harcourt, where he collected between N1.5 million and N2 million from vessels passing through Nembe creeks to the high seas.
The deceased and members of his gang, all indigenes of Southern Ijaw in Bayelsa State, Africa Update gathered, usually carried out their kidnap escapades in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Police source disclosed that the gang had stormed a shop located at 107 Nvuigwe Road, in Woji Town, Rivers State, owned by Mrs. Tina Bob-Manuel, where she was kidnapped at about 10.45a.m on November 22, 2017.
They were said to have worn police uniforms, and their victim was taken away in their ash-coloured Honda Pilot car, and had driven to a waiting speed boat with which they went into the creeks.
They had demanded for N50 million ransom for her release and her family made an initial payment of N2 million and $1,000 on December 1, 2017. Yet her captors refused to release her. Another N4 million was reportedly paid on December 14, 2017, which amounted to N6.361 million.
Despite collecting the said amount, the gang demanded for more and she was later dumped somewhere around Obua Local Government Area of Rivers State on February 21, after spending three months with her captors.
Police sources further hinted that “IRT operatives have been on his trail for a long time after the kidnap of Mrs Bob-Manuel and several other kidnappings, “The suspect went underground after collecting the ransom in two installments and when he sensed that the Police were closing in on him, he dropped his contact number known to his personal driver that was earlier arrested by the Police and relocated his family from Victory Estate Azikoro, Yenagoa, in December 2017, to the creek.”
The source continued: “After about 90 days of painstaking intelligence gathering with technical support from TIU, the suspect was tracked to Asiri area of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to his new rented apartment’.
“On sighting the operatives, he ran into his apartment ceiling from where he engaged the operatives. But he was neutralised and fatally injured.”
Excerpts of a press statement made available to newsmen reads:
- PROSPER DAVID – Gang Leader (DECEASED)
- BENJAMIN JOHNSON – PRINCIPAL SUSPECTS
iii. ANTHONY JOSHUA – PRINCIPAL SUSPECTS
- JOHNSON DENNIS (PRINCIPAL SUSPECTS AND DRIVER OF THE GANG)
- One (1) AK47 Rifle
- Twenty Six (26) Rounds of AK47 Live Ammunition
iii. Four (4) expended shells of Ammunition
- A Nokia Phone belonging to the victim and used in the negotiation of ransom
The Police Joint Strike Force led by the IGP Intelligence Response Team set-up by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim K. Idris, NPM, mni to arrest those responsible for the abduction of one Mrs Tina Bob Manuel who was kidnapped by the vicious and notorious sea pirate and kidnap for ransom militant leader ‘Prosper David’ (now deceased) and his gang on the 22/11/2017 in her shop in Portharcourt. The gang leader who was killed during the shoot-out between his gang and the Police Team has been on the wanted list of the Nigeria Police Force for some time now for several kidnappings of many innocent people in Rivers State and other States in the South-South and South-East part of the country.
- The vicious gang are also responsible for several piracy attacks on the waterways in the region. The deceased gang leader has been identified after his death by some of his victims.
- The three (3) other suspects now in Police custody have confessed to be active members of the gang and have admitted to series of criminal roles they played in the commission of various kidnappings for ransom, armed robberies, cult related killings, sea piracy and other violent crimes in the South-South and other States of the country. They were equally identified by some of the victims who were kidnapped by the gang in the past. Efforts are being intensified to arrest other members of the gang still at large. The suspects will be arraigned in court on completion of investigation.
- The renewed commitment of the Nigeria Police Force to sustain the tempo of the fight against kidnappings and other violent crimes in the country and guarantee protection of Lives and Property remains unequivocal and unwavering.
ACP JIMOH MOSHOOD
FORCE PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER