Brother says no ransom was paid.
Ten days after her abduction by gunmen, Joyce Ebua, elder sister to the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Sports, Mitema Obodor, was released on Thursday after prolonged negotiations with her abductors.
Mrs. Ebua, 60, was dropped by her captors at about 12.30 a.m. at a coastal settlement after they had received an undisclosed sum, family and security sources told PREMIUM TIMES.
The sources said the actual ransom paid was kept secret due to the involvement of officials of the Bayelsa government.
Although Mr. Obodor confirmed the release of his sister, he said no ransom was paid to secure her freedom. He said officials of the State Security Service, SSS, facilitated his sister’s release.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Alex Akhigbe, also confirmed the release of Mrs. Ebua. He, however, said the police authorities were not involved in the operation.
The victim was kidnapped at her Oloibiri residence, Ogbia Local Government Area, at about 8.55 p.m. on March 10. The gunmen shot sporadically to scare people in the neighbourhood before whisking off Mrs. Ebua to an unknown destination.
There has been rising incidents of kidnapping in Bayelsa in spite of a law that stipulates death penalty for offenders. The law enacted over a year ago is yet to be effected on any suspect.
An uncle and foster father to President Goodluck Jonathan, Nengite Nitabai, recently regained his freedom after spending 17 days in the kidnappers den. Another close relative of the president was almost abducted the same day Mr. Nitabai was set free.