Samuel Udotek Willis
The Nigerian community in Ghana has offered to assist police to find the missing Takoradi girls by speaking to the key suspect, a Nigerian identified as Samuel Udotek Willis.
The Igbo King of the Nigerian Community in Ghana, His Royal Majesty Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu and Leader of the Ghana Chapter of Nigerians in the Diaspora, Ogbonna Kaycey, said Tuesday that many attempts to meet Samuel have been unsuccessful.
Ogbonna Kaycey believes the community “can deal with [the suspect]” who some reports have suggested has led police on a wild goose chase to locate three girls who went missing in the Western Region capital since last year.
“Your Majesty [Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu] has made attempts [to meet criminals said to be Nigerians]. Even in the case of the suspect in Takoradi. There was a time we were so angry in the community; there was a time the guy was tossing the authorities up and down and the community was so angry and people were expressing anger; ‘show us this idiot, let’s deal with him,’” Mr Kaycey said on PM Express, Tuesday evening.
Nigerians are battling negative public perception following the involvement of persons believed to be Nigerians in many high-profile kidnappings and other crimes in Ghana.
Security analysts have also pointed to an influx of Nigerian-style crimes in Ghana in recent times.
For instance, the most crucial case in the wave of kidnappings that have gripped Ghana is the one involving Samuel Udotek Willis, who is being held by Ghana police over his involvement in the suspected kidnapping of the three girls in 2018. The girls are yet to be found.
The police are also on a manhunt for three Nigerians linked to the kidnapping of the Consular-General and Head of Mission of Estonia to Ghana, Nabil Makram Basbous, in April 2019 in Accra who was later rescued by police.
The Police in Kasoa in the Central Region also arrested three Nigerians over the kidnap and murder of a two-year-old boy last April.
At a press conference in April, the Police CID revealed it had arrested a two-man Nigerian gang who have confessed to at least 11 armed robberies, a spree that included raping their victims before bolting with cash worth more than two million cedis.
In the latest episode of kidnapping, National Security operatives engaged the Nigerians in a gun battle before overpowering the suspects holding two Canadian ladies.
However, despite these incidents, Mr Kaycey said on PM Express, a current affairs programme on the Joy News channel on MultiTV that many Nigerians living in Ghana are helping to improve the country’s economy.
“We are law abiding citizens. Engage us,” Ogbonna Kaycey appealed to the media and the police on PM Express.
“I am aware that in other nations when a crime is committed and a foreigner is arrested, he is meant to be identified by his people to confirm that this is a citizen of our country but nothing like that has been done,” he added.
He said this was important because it is very likely that sometimes the criminals might not be a Nigerians, but may be holding themselves up as such only to give them a bad name.
His Royal Majesty Chukwudi Jude Ihenetu also appealed to Nigerians in Ghana to make contact with the leaders of the Nigerian community for recognition and assistance when the need arises.