From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Less than 24 hours after Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Peter Ogunyanwo disclosed that former president Goodluck Jonathan has vowed not to pay ransom to secure the release of his cousin who also doubles as his foster father, Chief Nitabai Inegite, the 72-year-old has regained his freedom.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Anisim Butswat, who confirmed the release of Inegite said details of his release are still sketchy.
Inegite and one of his nephews, Samuel Okies were kidnapped on February 17 from the residence of the Inegites in Otuoke. Two days after, Okies was found dead with his body floating on Otuoke River.
The kidnappers were said to have reduced their initial ransom from N50 million to N2 million but Jonathan insisted that he was not going to pay.
The Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Police command, Mr Peter Ogunyanwo had disclosed in Yenagoa during the parade of 37 armed robbery and kidnap suspects the decision by Jonathan not to pay ransom so as to discourage kidnapping.
“On the kidnap of the foster father of former president Gooluck Jonathan, Chief Inegite, I have met several times with the former president and he has insisted that he is not going to pay ransom. The kidnappers have reduced their ransom to about N2million but the former President said he would not pay it. We are on the trail of the kidnappers and we would get them. People should not pay ransom. Just like Governor Henry Seriake Dickson also did not pay ransom for the freedom of his sister, people should be discouraged from paying ransom so that the business of kidnapping would stop,” he said.
Ogunyanwo explained that since assumption of duty in the state, the command has enthroned a robust crime fighting strategy which has culminated in the arrest of 37 suspects in different parts of the state.
While disclosing that criminal elements are devising various ways to beat security network, he said the state Police command is up to the task to combat crime.
Ogunyanwo, who said the Police foiled a kidnap attempt of the newly sworn in chairman of the state Environmental Sanitation Authority, Robert Enogha, urged members of the public to come with useful information that would ensure that criminal elements are not allowed to operate in the state.
He stated that once investigations were completed in most of the cases, the suspects would be charged to court in line with recommendations from the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).