A kidnapped victim, who simply wished to be addressed as Mr. Kingsley, has narrated how suspected herdsmen abducted him and his pregnant wife in Rivers State and then threatened to decapitate him if his family members didn’t pay N20 million as ransom.
According to Kingsley, the incident happened on June 12, at a poultry farm in Igwuruta area of Ikwere Local Government Area of Rivers State, where he went with his wife to buy some crates of eggs.
The victim recollected that the three kidnappers wore face masks and tied blankets around their heads.
He said he had already given up hope of ever seeing his family, when a miracle happened.
Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, a Unit headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, trailed the kidnappers into the bush and rescued him.
He was rescued after three days, which he said were the most traumatic of his life.
The IRT operatives were able to arrest one of the alleged kidnappers identified as Adamu Muhammad
Kingsley said: “I went to the poultry farm with my wife.
“As soon as the security man opened the gate, three bandits stormed the compound.
“While threatening to shoot, they ordered us to lie face-down.
“One of them searched us, took our phones and N200,000, which was for the crates of eggs.
“They ordered us to follow them into the bush.”
Kingsley recalled that after some minutes of trekking, his pregnant wife weakened and repeatedly fell down.
“He begged them to release the woman.
They grudgingly released her, but added that it was because they wanted her to go and raise the ransom.
Kingsley narrated: “I trekked with them for hours into the bush until we finally stopped.
“They didn’t contact my wife for two good days and in those days, I was repeatedly beaten.
“They threatened to behead me if my family didn’t pay the ransom.
“They also said they had beheaded several people.
“They showed me guns and bullets, telling me not to attempt an escape.
“They said all they wanted was money, but they would kill me and still collect the ransom, if I misbehave.”
After two days, the kidnappers moved to another camp in order to access GSM network.
They called his wife and asked for N20 million.
Kingsley pleaded with them to reduce the ransom.
They agreed and halved it.
When Kingsley’s family members heard about the staggering amount, they went to Igwuruta Police Station, from there they were referred to the IRT office.
Meanwhile, local vigilante members had mobilised and searched the bush, but couldn’t find the victim or his captors.
He said: “During those days, they didn’t offer me food or water.
“I don’t know how I survived in that forest.
“My wife told me that as soon as she got in touch with IRT operatives, they followed her to the place where she was to drop off the ransom.
“They moved into the forest and were able to rescue me.
“How they did it, I do not know because I was too weak at that point.
“My rescue came just when they were about to kill me.
“They told me that the police captured one of them who went to collect the ransom.”
A police source revealed: “The gang used to lay ambush for unsuspecting victims who come to buy crates of eggs.
“When they sighted Kingsley with his wife, they drove into the compound and grabbed them.
“IRT was alerted to assist in the investigation.
“Initially, the wife refused to cooperate with us because she was warned not to get police involved.
“On the day they agreed for the drop off, a tracking team was deployed to follow her.
“Information generated showed that they were somewhere in the Umuechem area, in Etche Local Government Area.
“When the kidnappers contacted her, they instructed her to move down to Umuechem pipeline area and drop off the ransom.
“There were people moving around in that area, but it was easy for our detectives to confirm that the two men dressed like farmers, were those waiting to collect the ransom.
“Immediately Adamu collected the money, one of our detectives, grabbed him.
“Unfortunately the second suspect escaped.”
Adamu, 35, who is in Police custody, explained that he relocated to Rivers State in 2018, where he trained as a tailor.
He disclosed that his friend, Musa, introduced him to kidnapping.
He said: “Two days before we abducted the couple, Musa came with the information that there was a poultry farm at Igwuruta, where rich people used to come to buy crates of eggs.
“On June 12, at about 6am, we stayed close to the poultry and waited.
“Two hours later, we saw the couple in a Jeep.
“We kidnapped them and headed into the bush.
“The wife started crying that she was pregnant.
“We took the money with them and released the wife.
“We instructed her to go and find N10 million if she ever wanted to see her husband again.
“We contacted his wife on the third day.
“We negotiated, but the wife insisted she could only raise N550,000.
“I and Musa were asked to go and collect the money from her at an agreed venue.
“As soon as I collected the money, someone grabbed me, while Musa escaped.
“We make use of pump action rifles and the regular hunters’ rifles, and at the end of every operation, we bury the guns inside the bush.
“I was only arrested because Allah permitted it.
“I’m not worried.”