Mr James Oppong-Boanuh — Acting Inspector-General of Police
The Criminal Investigations Division (CID) of the Ghana Police Service has begun a process for the extradition of Chika Nnodim from Nigeria to Ghana to face charges as one of the suspects named in the case of the girls who have gone missing in Takoradi.
A collaboration between the Ghana Interpol and its Nigerian counterparts led to the arrest of Nigerian Nnodim in Nigeria on August 2, but he cannot be brought to Ghana until the process for his extradition has been completed.
A source close to the police has told the Daily Graphic that the process began a day after the service was informed about the arrest of the suspect.
“On the request of the CID, the Attorney General’s office wrote the letter requesting the suspect’s extradition and that was forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
From there, it will be sent to the Nigerian authorities following which the approval will be given for him to be brought to Ghana,” the source explained.
He explained that since he had not committed any crime in Nigeria, Nnodim could not be prosecuted in his country, and would thus remain in custody until the process to bring him down was completed.
Two persons, Samuel Udoetuk-Willis and John Oji, both Nigerians, have already been arrested in connection with the case.
Udoetuk-Willis, who lived in Sekondi-Takoradi, was the first to be arrested, and upon police interrogation and investigation, Oji was picked up in Togo.
Last Friday, operatives of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition in Trafficking of Persons (NAPTIP) confirmed the arrest of a man accused of being involved in kidnapping of Ghanaian girls to Nigeria.
There were no details of where and how he was arrested, but The Nation, a Nigerian newspaper, reported that the suspect, Nnodim, was arrested on the request of Ghana’s Interpol.
According to the paper, Nnodim is believed to be part of a cross-border criminal gang whose activities include kidnapping and have been under security watch list of the government of Nigeria and Ghana.
He and two other Nigerians, Udoetuk-Willis and Oji, are alleged to have been involved in the kidnapping of three Ghanaian girls aged between 15 and 21 years.
A spokesperson for the NAPTIP, Victoria Ijampy, in a statement on behalf of the Head, Press and Public Relations of the organisation, said: “Operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition in Trafficking of Persons have arrested one Chika John Nnodim for alleged involvement in the kidnap of three Ghanaian girls from Ghana to Nigeria.
The suspect has also been handed over to the office of the Inspector-General of Police for further investigation.
“The suspect, who is believed to be part of a cross-border criminal gang and have been under security watch list of the government of Nigeria and Ghana, was nabbed by NAPTIP officials after a very painstaking investigation at various locations within Nigeria and Ghana.
“He and two other Nigerians, Udoetuk-Willis and Oji, were alleged to have been involved in the kidnapping of three Ghanaian girls aged between 15 and 21 years.
“The case was reported to the Agency by the Ghana High Commission in Abuja in April 2019 alleging the kidnap of their citizens from Ghana to Nigeria.
The Agency collaborated with relevant law enforcement agencies within Nigeria and Ghana in the investigation and made the arrests. Udoetuk-Willis was arrested in Ghana, Oji was picked up in Togo and now Nnodim has also been arrested.”
The police have been investigating the case following the series of kidnapping incidents involving the girls in the Takoradi metropolis.
Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, Ruth Love Quayson, 18, and Mantebea Koranchie,18, went missing between August and December 2018. A fourth girl, Ruth Abakah, 19, has been reported missing since July 2018.