15th July, 2010
The chieftain of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Rivers State, High Chief Sam Ezebalike of Iuowo community, Ahoada, in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, who was kidnapped along with his wife on Tuesday 6 July by seven gunmen, was released unhurt last night.
Prior to the release of the PDP chieftain, P.M.NEWS learnt that his wife, Sera was released to her family three days earlier.
Although nobody could confirm if ransom was paid before the couple regained their freedom, it is common knowledge that kidnappers do not free their victims until huge ransom was paid through intermediaries.
P.M.NEWS gathered from reliable sources in Government House, Port Harcourt, that the state government is concerned about the bravado and the clinical finishing exhibited by the gunmen in carrying out the operation that caught the security operatives, especially the anti-kidnapping policemen napping.
Government sources say that for about ten days the couples were held in captivity security agents could not track them down.
The kidnappers, who came in a Nissan Station Wagon, waylaid the vehicle Ezeabalike was driving in with his wife on streets of Ahoada, on Tuesday 6 July in the morning, shot several timesÂ into the air to scare passers-by and abducted the couple by dragging them out of their car.
The gang in a well planned operation to erase their trail burnt the Nissan Station Wagon which they used for their operation as they drove to the speed boat anchored at the Oshioppudo waterside and boated.
The Rivers State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Dr. Rita Inoma-Abbey, a Superintendent of Police (SP) who confirmed the release of the couple, said the police and other security agencies are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The police anti-kidnap squad was only able to trail them towards the Rumuekpe forest in Emuoha Local Government Area of the state.
â€”Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt