Tony John, Port Harcourt
The abductors of a traditional ruler, Goodluck Umetor, in Ndele community, in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, have released him after inflicting machete cuts on the monarch.
The kidnappers also reportedly collected N1 million ransom from the victim’s family before he was set free on the early hours of Wednesday.
Chief Umetor was whisked away by the hoodlums at gun-point to an unknown destination, on Monday evening, just after the bandits had killed two persons in the community.
The victim, who is nursing pains from the machete cuts, told journalists that his captors only set him free after his family paid N1 million.
Umetor said the kidnappers used machete to cut all part of his body, adding that the criminals also took his Automated Teller Machine (ATM), cards and withdrew huge sums of money.
He said, “The gunmen took me on a journey inside a deep forest. They blindfolded and dragged me. We trekked about 60 kilometers before we arrived their base. They said they were hired to assassinate me, but, later, they changed their mind to collect ransom and free me.
“They inflicted marchete cuts on my head, back and other parts of my body. They collected all my four ATM cards and sent somebody to go and withdraw money from my account before collecting N1 million again from my family.
“They warned me that I should not block the accounts that they will be withdrawing money at will. They said if I block the accounts that they will come after me again. They also threatened to kill me if I try to give their identity to anyone,” he narrated.
However, the state’s Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, confirmed the release of the victim, saying that the identity of the hoodlums involved in the kidnap have been uncovered.
Omoni said that the kidnappers released the victim out of pressure, adding that the Commissioner of Police in the state, Zaki Ahmed, had earlier made adequate mobilisation to ensure unconditional release of Umetor.