The lifeless body of a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State, Olamide Odimayo, who was kidnapped last week, has been found floating on the coastal waters of Ese-Odo.
The Ondo Police while confirming the incident on Monday, said the search for the abducted politician had continued since June 15, with the arrest of eight suspects.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, told PREMIUM TIMES that the body of the victim was found just when it appeared that his rescue was near following the arrest of suspected members of the kidnap gang.
Mr. Odimayo was reportedly kidnapped by the gunmen on Thursday at his home in Igbotu town in Ese Odo Local Government Area of the state.
Mr. Joseph said the suspects had led the police to the hideout, but only the lifeless body was found floating at Ogolo River, between Sabomi and Igbotu towns in Ese-Odo.
“We have been searching since on the 15 and we arrested some suspects in connection with the kidnap,” he said.
“One of the suspects who took our men to the hideout claimed he was the one who took the victim to the hideout.
“He said during the course of transporting him to the place, the victim fell into the water and perhaps because he could not swim, died.”
There were however reports from Igbotu town that youth in the area chased the kidnappers on the day they abducted Mr. Odumayo, caught one of them and killed him.
Sources said the kidnappers might have killed their victim in retaliation for the death of their member.
Meanwhile, the APC in Ondo has condemned the killing, saying kidnappers should now be made to pay the supreme price for their acts.
The spokesperson for the party, Anayomi Adesanya, told PREMIUM TIMES the death of Mr. Odimayo was saddening, having left his diaspora abode in the UK to come home to be part of the development of the country.
“He was a party stalwart and dedicated party man who was concerned about the development of the country,” he said.
“I think it is time we have laws against kidnapping in the state stipulating capital punishment for the act.
“We cannot continue to allow this to go on, kidnappers should pay the supreme price for their actions.”
Mr. Odimayo was the candidate of the APC for the last Ondo House of Assembly elections for the Ese-Odo State constituency, an election he lost to the PDP.