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I Don’t Know My Gang Kidnap People: ‘Kidnap Kingpin’ John Lyon Speaks



The Bayelsa State Police Command on Monday paraded kidnap kingpin, John Ewa, alias John Lion, at the Police Officers Mess, Yenagoa.

He was paraded alongside three members of his gang, whom the police identified as Emmanuel Angase, Innocent Kingsley and Timi Werikumo.

The state Commissioner of Police, Ben Okolo, said the gang has been responsible for over 10 high profile kidnappings in the state over a period of seven years. He said Ewa, Angase, Kingsley and Werikumo were apprehended “through painstaking investigation,” while another suspect, Gbalipre Gamage, was at large.

The gang was arrested for allegedly kidnapping one Akeem Olushola on December 8, 2020, and Danjuma Emeje on June 30, 2022.

Ben Okolo said “On December 8, 2020, one Akeeb Olushola, 48, the manager of a new generation bank was kidnapped at his residence at Old Commissioners Quarters, Opolo. He was released on December 12 after paying a ransom of N80m.


“Similarly, Danjuma Omeje, 41, the manager of a new generation bank in Yenagoa was kidnapped at his residence at Okaka, Yenagoa, on July 30, 2022. He was released on July 14, 2022, after paying a ransom of N60m – N30m cash and US dollar equivalence of N30m.”

He noted that Ewa was known for his flamboyant lifestyle on social media, adding that he confessed to the kidnap of Olushola, Nancy Keme Dickson (on December 26, 2015), Chinonso Eze, and other Igbo businessmen.

In an interview, John Lion said he was involved in the abduction of Olushola and Omeje, but claimed he was not aware his gang members were engaged in kidnapping.

He, however, said he showed the gang members the Yenagoa homes of the two victims and that he knew Omeje while working in his bank as a cleaner before he resigned in 2003.

“We were just driving and I showed them. I said, ‘This is my former boss’ house’. That was it,” he added.


The suspect said he received N1.5m and N3.5m from the ransoms paid by Olushola and Omeje, respectively.

The police commissioner said the suspects would be charged at the conclusion of investigation.

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