Gunmen have kidnapped the traditional ruler of Isuokoma autonomous community in the Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Eze Ambrose Ogbu.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the monarch was kidnapped late on Wednesday at his palace in Isu, in the council area.
A source confirmed the incident to our correspondent on Thursday.
“But the kidnappers have not made any contact with the family or the community. We have been waiting, but no contact yet,” the source added.
The Ebonyi State Commissioner of Police, Aliyu Garba, said the gunmen invaded the royal father’s residence and abducted him.
He said, “They drove away with him and till now, nobody knows his whereabouts. It’s very unfortunate; but we will do our best to get him reunited with his family.
“Our men have already swung into action and we will do the needful as soon as we know his location.”
In a related development, the Nasarawa Eggon Divisional Police Officer, Nasarawa State, CSP Haruna Abdulmalik, has been kidnapped by gunmen.
Abdulmalik was said to be on a patrol on Wednesday around the Nasarawa Eggon–Akwanga Road when he encountered the hoodlums, who shot into the air before whisking him away.
A source said the police officer received information that some gunmen were terrorising residents in Nasarawa Eggon Local Government Area and while responding to the situation, he was overpowered by the gunmen.
The source said, “We are really pained that the DPO was kidnapped because since he was posted to our area, he has been making efforts to secure the environment from bandits and other criminal elements.
“The information we got was that he was trying to handle a situation because gunmen were operating in a location but he was kidnapped and taken to an unknown destination.
“We also heard that the kidnappers reached out to his family members and demanded N5m.
“We are appealing to the state police command to ensure that he is released unhurt.”
The Deputy Chairman of Nasarawa Eggon LGA, Benjamin Kuze, said the DPO was kidnapped around 9pm on Wednesday along the Bakono-Arikya Road, adding that efforts made to reach his mobile lines had not yielded any result.
“We have complained to the police command about the development and we believe that efforts are being made to ensure his release,” Kuze added.
As of the time of filing this report, efforts to reach the Nasarawa State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Ramhan Nansel, proved abortive, as he did not respond to calls put across to his phone lines.
In a similar incident, the Kogi State Police Command confirmed the abduction of no fewer than seven travellers on the Geregu-Ajaokuta Road.
The victims were said to be travelling in different vehicles around 2pm on Tuesday when they came under attack.
Eyewitnesses told our correspondent that the gunmen laid siege to the road for several hours and shot sporadically at the vehicles before abducting the passengers.
A source said among the victims were a couple, Mr Joe and Mrs Aduojo Abba, who were returning from a burial ceremony in a village near Alloma in the Ofu LGA of the state.
Also abducted was a medical doctor said to be on his way back to Lokoja from an official assignment to the Prince Abubakar Audu University Teaching Hospital,
“My friend’s wife was shot in the leg and she is presently recuperating at the Federal Medical Centre, Lokoja”, a relative of one of the victims added.
The Kogi State Police Public Relations Officer, William Aya, said the command got wind of the attack and drafted men of the Rapid Response Squad in the area.
He said, “Seven persons were abducted to the bush; six people were rescued with bullet wounds and six vehicles were recovered at the scene of the incident.”
He noted that policemen, including sister security agencies and vigilantes, had been mobilised to rescue the seven abducted passengers.
In Ekiti State, the abductors of a retired civil servant, Mr Israel Bamisaye, on Thursday, demanded N40m for his release.
The retiree was abducted on Wednesday by gunmen numbering about seven.
The victim was said to be working on his farm along Egbe Dam and Ekiti State Farm Settlement Road, Orin Ekiti, in the Ido/Osi LGA of the state when the incident happened.
A close family source said the gunmen on Thursday contacted the family and demanded N50m, which they later reduced to N40m.
The source said, “They are threatening to kill him if the money is not paid. Everyone is confused in the community at the moment because of the activities of the gunmen in the farm settlement. How will the family raise N40 million to pay them now?”
Meanwhile, the paramount ruler of Panyam, in the Mangu LGA of Plateau State, Aminu Derwan, who was kidnapped by bandits, has regained his freedom.
It was gathered that the district head was released on Wednesday night after spending three days in the kidnappers’ den.
The spokesman for the state police command, Alabo Alfred, confirmed Derwan’s release to our correspondent on Thursday.
A youth leader, Philip Yakubu, who also confirmed the monarch’s release, said the community was overjoyed by the development.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Derwan was kidnapped in the early hours of Monday by bandits who demanded N150m for his release.