Police say no ransom was paid.
Inengite Nitabai, the 70-year-old uncle of President Goodluck Jonathan, Thursday narrated his ordeal in the hands of kidnappers to journalists in Bayelsa.
Mr. Nitabai, who described his experience as “traumatic,” said he was beaten with a gun butt and kicked on the floor by his abductors.
The septuagenarian, who was also Mr. Jonathan’s foster father, was abducted by about 10 gunmen at his home in Otuoke on February 23.
He said the armed men tied his wrists, blind folded him and tortured him in order to make him convince the President and other family members to pay up the ransom demanded.
“I thank God for keeping me alive. I was made to sleep on the bare floor and fed with garri and red oil for three weeks in the bush. I was tortured and beaten with guns and kicked. When I was young, there was no such thing as kidnapping; I don’t know why it must be me,” Mr. Nitabai said.
The Bayelsa State Police Commissioner, Hilary Opara, while presenting Mr. Nitabai to journalists, said the anti-kidnapping squad of the command led by one Chris Nwogwu secured the release of the president’s uncle.
According to the Police Commissioner, the gunmen abandoned their victim at Ogboma, off Odioma in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa. Mr. Nitabai was later found by the squad and brought to the state police command in Yenagoa for debriefing.
Mr. Opara said the police applied utmost professionalism in the way they carried out the operation that led to Mr. Nitabai’s freedom. He said no ransom was paid to the kidnappers and arrests would be made.
He thanked the family of the victim for cooperating with and believing in the police. He disclosed that Mr. Nitabai’s family, especially his wife, was in touch with the police throughout the period and heeded advice from the police that no ransom should be paid to the kidnappers.
Mr. Opara also commended the Inspector-General of Police and the Assistant Inspector-General of police in charge of Zone 5 for not interfering with the operations and having confidence in the command to resolve the incident.
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