A traditional ruler abducted in Ovia South-West LGA.
Senior lawyer and activist, Mike Ozekhome, was dropped off a roadside in Edo state early Thursday after spending 20 days in kidnappers’ den, police and family members said.
Security and family sources told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Ozekhome was dropped unhurt in the early hours of the day at an undisclosed location in the state, where he was eventually picked up by family members after paying an undisclosed sum of ransom.
But just as the news of Mr. Ozekohme’s emerged, there were reports that four armed men seized an in-law to the Monarch of Benin Kingdom, Oba Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa, at about 7.00p.m on Wednesday.
Iyasere of Udo Community, His Royal Highness Patrick Igbinidu, was abducted into a waiting Audi car around his palace in Ovia South-West Local Government Area, and taken to an unknown destination.
Family members said Mr. Ozekhome was flown to Lagos on Thursday for immediate medical attention.
It was however unclear whether his driver, who was abducted with him, had been released.
As of Thursday, family members and police could not confirm the fate of Mr. Ozehome’s driver. Repeated calls to the driver’s phones by our correspondent were not answered. He did not also respond to text messages.
Edo State Commissioner of Police, Funso Adebanjo, who confirmed his release, could not however confirm to PREMIUM TIMES whether his driver was also freed.
“Yes, I can confirm that he has been released,” he said via telephone. He promised to release information later on the fate of the driver.
Mr. Ozekhome was abducted in Edo state on Friday, August 23. The armed kidnappers killed four police men who attempted to foil his kidnap.
His personal driver and a chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Edo State, Athanasius Ugbomhe, who was travelling to different locations through Ehor on the Benin-Auchi-Okene Expressway, were also seized.
Mr. Ozekhome and his driver remained in captivity, however, while Mr. Ugbomhe was released on Sunday after his family reportedly paid N100 million as ransom. The kidnappers initially demanded N150m for the two men.
Residents of Edo state have expressed concern about the rising wave of kidnappings in the state and have renewed their call on Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole to immediately assent to the bill that was passed into law by the Edo State House of Assembly, prescribing death penalty for kidnapping.
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