Every bit of him cuts the image of a taciturn, harmless and easy-going individual.
But Ndubisi Anthony is extremely dangerous. He poses as a shoe dealer on Ogbunabali Road, Port Harcourt City, but behind the visible business of buying and selling shoes, the 52-year-old indigene of Ngo-Okpala in Imo State has other secret criminal ventures, including kidnapping and killing his victims.
Anthony’s neighbours were shocked when he recently led a detachment of policemen to his well-built house situated at Umuebule 1 Community, Etche Local Government Area, Rivers State.
The house is a flat of about four bedrooms surrounded by a high fence. In fact, the fence, which is secured with a gate, made it impossible for neighbours to know what went on in Anthony’s compound. Little wonder nobody around suspected Anthony and his bloody enterprise.
Within the compound is a pit dug very close to the fence and covered with columns of concrete. Innocent people who entered his compound thought it was a mere soak away pit. Only Anthony knew that the pit was not meant for sewage alone but also served as a burial ground for victims of his illicit trade.
In his compound, he confessed to kidnapping people, strangling them and dumping their remains in the pit. Most of his victims’ bodies had completely decayed with their skulls remaining. But one was still fresh when the Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Joseph Mukan, engaged some youths in the area to pull them out.
During interrogation, Anthony admitted luring his victims to his house under the guise of buying their goods or selling his to them. He would make his victims feel at home in his living room after offering them a special seat. He would even offer them drinks. But in the process, he would go behind them, hold their necks in his hands and twist them.
After confirming that they were dead, Anthony said he would drag them to his well-secured compound and throw them into the pit. Though he said he lived with his wife and about four children, it was discovered that the wife fled the compound before nemesis caught up with him while two of his grown children were no longer living with him.
Anthony said he started the business of kidnapping and killing in February this year, adding that he had so far killed four of his business partners. He said three of his victims were Togolese while one came from Aba in Abia State.
He said: “I sell shoes. I get my victims by luring them to bring shoes to my house. When they bring them, I tell them to sit down. When they had sat down, I would go behind them and strangle them to death. I have been doing this for a while.
“I collect their shoes when I kill them. I also collect their money. But after I did this last one, police started investigating it and they started looking for me.
“One of my customers called me to come, but when I got there, the police arrested me.”
He added: “I live here with my family. I kidnap people and kill them by strangling them. I invite them to my house. Some are my business partners. I ask them to come and supply me goods or to come to my house and buy from me.
“They bring their shoes to my house. I started doing this in February this year. Since then, I have kidnapped and killed four people. I kill them and throw them into the soak away pit. My wife goes to the market always and people can’t see me because the area is fenced.”
Anthony said he started kidnapping because of poverty, adding that he had so far received N800,000 from his victims’ families.
The last operation that blew his cover involved his business partner, Ajumiene Ofor, from Aba in Abia State.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said the victim supplied him shoes worth N500,000 on credit and Anthony told his victim to come to his house for payment. On arrival at his house, the man sent the address to his wife in Aba.
The source said: “The discovery was made when a trader from Aba in Abia State left the address and phone number of the suspect with his wife upon departure to collect the sum of N500,000, being the cost of the goods he had supplied the suspect on credit.
“After waiting for 48 hours without any sign of her husband’s return, the wife of the victim reported the matter to the police who immediately launched an investigation into the matter.
“On interrogation, the suspect took the police to his house where fresh corpses were recovered from a 20-fit soak-away pit dug purposely for dumping of corpses.
“While the wife of the suspect has since abandoned her four children and ran away, two grown up children of the suspect have also taken to their heels while two little others demonstrated how their evil father strangled his victims in their presence.
“They said their father sternly warned them not to tell anyone about his evil deeds else he would apply the same treatment to them.”
Commenting on the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, said: “Operatives of the Aniti-Kidnapping Unit, in a sting operation on 29/6/20202 at about 1330hrs, arrested a notorious kidnapper and serial killer, one Anthony Ndubuisi ‘m’ from Ngo-Okpala in Imo State but resides at Umuebulu Etche LGA.
“The suspect, who was arrested through intelligence-led policing, on interrogation confessed to have carried out several kidnappings and killings of his unsuspecting victims, including three foreign Nationals and a Nigerian, the most recent being the kidnapping and killing of one Ajumiene Offor who was lured from Aba to his house for a business transaction but kidnapped and killed on 9/6/2020.
“In the course of investigation, the suspect led operatives to his house at Umuebulu, where he pointed to a septic tank that contained the bodies of his victims.
“On exhumation, we recovered three human skulls and the decomposing body of his recent victim. They have been evacuated and taken to the mortuary for autopsy.
“Investigation is ongoing and efforts have been intensified to arrest other members of his deadly gang.
“In the wake of his arrest, two pump action guns and some cartridges were recovered.”