Okey Sampson, Umuahia
The father of the Commissioner of the Abia State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ASOPADEC), Henry Chilka, Pa Gideon Chilaka, has been freed after eight days in captivity.
Pa Chilaka, a community leader, was abducted from his home in Ugwuati, the community of late Abia kidnap kingpin, Obioma Nwankwo aka Osisikankwu.
When the kidnappers arrived and knocked on his door on the night of his abduction, Pa Chilaka thought they were his children, not knowing that the visitors were gun-wielding hoodlums, who forcibly took him away in two motorcycles to an unknown destination.
More than 36 hours after his abduction, Pa Chilaka’s abductors did not establish contact with his family members, fuelling speculation among natives that the abductors were holding the septuagenarian to get his son who is a well-placed government functionary.
It was gathered that the gang that kidnapped Pa Chilaka was the same that has been terrorizing the area in the past three weeks, a period in which three persons were reportedly kidnapped.
While information about Pa Chilaka’s release is still sketchy, information has it that he has been reunited with his family eight days after he was abducted from his Ugwati village in Ukwa West Local Government Area.
Investigations reveal that the family paid an amount running into millions of naira as ransom going by the N60 million the hoodlums had earlier demanded and which they later reduced to N10 million days before his eventual release.
‘After dribbling the person who had gone to pay the ransom from Igirita to Chokocho community, Igbo-Etche LGA of Rivers State, where they eventually collected the ransom worth millions of naira, they later released the old man to his family members,’ a source told this newspaper.