Concerned by the rising cases of kidnapping and violent crimes, the Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has vowed to sign his ‘first death warrant’ once the kidnappers of a recently abducted but freed victim were convicted.
A business mogul in the state, Monday Okeh, who was kidnapped two weeks ago escaped an assassination attempt by his abductors.
Mr Okeh was kidnapped in front of Monablis Hotel, Mile 50 Abakaliki in the state capital and taken to a river where he was reportedly shot and thrown into the river. He, however, survived the incident.
A source close to the family said the assassins used a black Highlander Jeep with no bumper in the front.
“It was Neighbourhood Security Watch members that saw the jeep the way it was parked and suspected the jeep because the four doors were open.
“Three ATM cards, jollof rice and footwear were found in the jeep. It was the Neighbourhood Watch members that called policemen who later came to the scene,” the source said.
It was also gathered that following his return, the businessman was rushed to the hospital for emergency medical treatment.
“Doctors were able to extract bullets from the spinal cord region of his body. He is responding to treatment,” the source who pleaded not to be named said.
Police spokesman, Loveth Odah, confirmed the kidnap and arrest of suspects.
She disclosed that four persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Mrs Odah added that the hoodlums stole N9 million belonging to the victim.
Governor Umahi during a media chat at the Government House Abakaliki also confirmed the incident.
The governor who had previously reportedly refused to sign death warrants of convicted criminals in the state promised to do so this time.
“There was a kidnap and robbery incident that happened in the state and it was carried out by a set of hoodlums assigned to this state by their gang. They have been doing it and escaping but today, both their ring leader and four others were tracked from far away Onitsha, Anambra state.
“The owner of Monablis hotel was kidnapped and robbed and taken to a river, through Enugu state. He was shot and pushed into the river but miraculously he survived and came back.
“Through our intelligence network, the Neighbourhood Security Watch, police, SSS brought him back to the state and I have already dedicated my red biro. As soon as they (suspects) are convicted, that will be the first death sentence I will sign,” Mr Umahi said.