Five members of a family kidnapped while returning home to Anambra from a wedding ceremony in Abia State have been released.

They were released after paying a ransom totalling N1.3 million. The kidnappers had initially demanded N30 million.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the family, travelling to Onitsha, Anambra State, was attacked around Okigwe in Imo State on Saturday evening.

Those kidnapped include the father, Okwudili Okonkwo, his wife, son and two other relatives.

But on Saturday night, the kidnappers released the mother and her son, Chidinma Okonkwo, to go and find N30 million for payment as ransom for the release of the three others.

The family told PREMIUM TIMES that the kidnappers later ‘reviewed’ the price down to one million naira on Monday.

The ransom, gathered from friends and sympathisers on social media, was paid on Monday evening, after which they were released.

Chukwudi Okoknwo, one of the family members, confirmed their release to our correspondent late Monday night.

Mr Okonkwo said they were released alongside another victim, whose family rallied to pay N300,000 for his release.

“There was a fourth man involved. The owner of the silver Camry. They paid N1.3 million total, 300k was for the other man’s family.”

When asked about their whereabouts, he said they are currently on their way to Onitsha.

“They’re still on their way. But I’ve spoken with them.”

The spokesperson of the police in Imo state, Orlando Ikeokwu, was yet to respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ enquiries after he demanded that an SMS be sent.

Kidnapping has been on the rise in recent times, compounding Nigeria’s security challenges particularly with the nation’s security apparatus appearing overwhelmed.


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