George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
The entire Ihitteoha community, Uratta in Owerri North has been thrown into mourning following the death of the wife of the traditional ruler of the area who died in the custody of kidnappers in spite of the payment of a ransom to her abductors.
The body of the 76-year-old Ugoeze Comfort Okoro was reportedly found on a village road in Akabor community in Oguta Local Government Area of the state.
This is just as the anti-kidnapping operatives of the Imo State police command has raided the house of one Okey Uche from the village, who is currently serving a prison term at the Owerri Correctional Centre and arrested some suspects, fingered in the kidnap of the deceased.
The wife of a prisoner, it was alleged, had harboured the suspects in her house when the police raided the house and arrested the suspects.
It was learnt that the deceased monarch’s wife was kidnapped before her husband and other domestic staff on Sunday, January 26, 2020, barely one month after she and her husband celebrated the golden jubilee of their wedding.
Prince Paul Okoro, younger brother to Eze Dr. Emmanuel Okoro Oha 1 of Ihitteoha Uratta, who confirmed the incident described it as sad, saying the death came after the family had paid the ransom demanded by the kidnappers.
According to him, the body of the woman was found last Sunday afternoon where it was dumped at Akabor, Oguta.
He said: “On Sunday, January 26, 2020, a group of boys stormed the palace here and gathered the guards and all around at gunpoint and met the Eze and wife upstairs around 8.30 pm.
“They collected everybody’s phones including that of the Eze. They took Ugoeze away. It was after they left that one of the servants came to me to call the president-general of the community that the unthinkable had happened.
“We waited for a call from them. But none came until three days later when they called his daughter, who is the wife of the member, representing Owerri federal constituency, Ikenna Elezianya, demanding ransom.
“Her body was recovered at Akabor, Oguta LGA where it was dumped.”
A member of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, told our correspondent that police had arrested some suspects linked to the crime.