10th June, 2014
Lagos based lawyer and activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) paid N40 million in order to secure his release from the hands of his kidnappers last August, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja was told on Monday.
The Court, presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola was also told that a distinguished academic and former commissioner in Delta State, Prof. Hope Eghagha, who was kidnapped in September 2012 by the same gang which kidnapped Ozekhome also paid N7million to secure his freedom after he was abducted on his way from Warri to Asaba.
The court was told that Ozekhome paid his ransom to the kidnappers in dollars.
Those accused of kidnapping the two who were arraigned before the court today, include the alleged gang leader, Mr. Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, Frank Azuekor and Michael Omonigho.
The accused who were arrested in Delta State were charged with conspiracy to commit terrorist act of kidnapping, serving as accessory to an act of terrorism, inciting persons to commit act of terrorism, recruiting members and aiding and abetting terrorism.
They however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
They were also charged with the murder of four policemen, namely, Paul Sunday Ajaka (ASP), Sunday Ewanshita (Insp), Michael Akpada (Insp) and Balary Kong (insp).
Justice Ademola rejected the bail application filed by the accused persons’ counsel, Bala Dakumaa. He ordered that the accused persons be remanded in the custody of the SSS and adjourned till July 1.