Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Tension in the agrarian community of Ogodo, in Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State heightened, on Monday, following the demand of N15 million by the kidnappers of the traditional ruler, HRM Sunday Olisewokwu.
The anxiety was not unconnected with the alleged threat by the kidnappers to eliminate the monarch if the ransom was not delivered by 6:00p.m., on Monday.
Obi Olisewokwu who is the chairman of Aniocha North Traditional Rulers’ Committee was abducted by masked men numbering seven on Sunday evening between the neighbouring communities of Ezi and Onicha-Olona within locality.
Said to be in his forties, Olisewokwu was returning from Onicha-Olona when the hoodlums intercepted his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) at the spot of the action.
They allegedly hauled him out of the vehicle, and two persons who were with him including his younger brother and brother-in-law got severe injuries for resisting the action of the hoodlums.
A family source who confirmed the development said the injured victims were receiving treatment, adding that the SUV which was abandoned by the kidnappers who fled into the bush with monarch has been recovered.
The source also confirmed the N15 million demand of the hostage takers, saying that the “people of the community are very worried about the safety of the king because the kidnappers gave a deadline of 6pm today (Monday) to deliver the money.
“As we speak, a search party has combed the bushes within Onicha-Olona axis without finding the traces of the hoodlums. We are very confused at the moment but we hope that they do not make good their threat, and release our monarch unhurt.”
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mohammad Mustafa did not answer his cell phone when calls were put through several times.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Andrew Aniamaka did not also respond to his calls, except sending a text message that “I am in the CP’s briefing now, pls! I will call u later, sir!” at about 12 noon.
As at the time of filing this report, the spokesman was yet to respond to subsequent calls. He neither returned the calls nor sent text message as he earlier did.
It would be recalled that in 2016, the Obi of Ubulu-Uku kingdom in neighbouring Aniocha South LGA, Akaeze Ofulue III was kidnapped, and two weeks later, his decomposing body was found rested on a tree in the bushes of Umunede in Ika North East LGA.