Kidnappers of the Commandant of Irrua Division of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in Edo State, Mr. Albert Eguavoen, have allegedly demanded N6 million ransom to free their victim.
This is even as the abductors of the wife of the Managing Director of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Mrs. Francisca Okhiria, have allegedly demanded for N20 million before she could regain her freedom.
It was gathered that the Eguavoen’s abductors made the ransom demand on Monday when they opened negotiation with his family.
But it could not be ascertained if the ransom demanded by the abductors was for Eguavoen alone.
Recall that the Commandant was abducted last Friday afternoon, alongside Francis Okunwe who is attached at the Area Commander of the Edo North Area Command, around Ewossa before Ekpon in Esan Senatorial District of the State, while travelling to Benin City, the State capital.
Sources at NSCDC said the officials were traveling through Igueben road, due to the bad state of the Benin-Auchi-Okenne highway.
It was gathered that his abductors allowed him to speak with his family members, during which he reportedly urged them to raise the said ransom to enable him regain freedom.
The Commandant was said to have also pleaded that the Redeemed Christian Church of God, where he is a senior usher at Eagles Wings parish of the church in Benin, should intensify prayer to ensure that he is not hurt.
A family member who did not want to be named, said: “we fear for the safety of our brother because from the voice of the kidnappers we could deduce that they are herdsmen.
“I urge the authorities of NSCDC to intensify efforts to ensure Eguavoen and his colleague’s safe return.”
Meanwhile, the authorities of the NSCDC in the State, said they have dispatched operatives into the forests in search of the two abducted colleagues.
Spokesman for the NSCDC in the State, Mr. Efosa Ogbebor, who described the incident as unfortunate, added that its men will comb the forest and ensure their colleagues are released unhurt.
Meanwhile, the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. DanMallam Mohammed, who confirmed the incident, added that a combined operation of security agencies in the state was being put in place to apprehend the abductors.
In the other incident, Mrs. Okhiria who was whisked away by suspected gunmen in the Edo State capital of Benin, five days ago, is is yet to be released by her kidnappers.
The Edo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. DanMallam Mohammed, however assured that the police were on top of the situation as they were hot on the trail of the kidnappers.
Mohammed, who spoke in Benin on Monday, said that the police were not relenting in ensuring that Mrs. Okhiria was freed unhurt by her abductors.
The Edo Police boss, however, said that he was not aware of ransom demand of N20 million by the kidnappers before letting go off their victims.
Mohammed said: “We are on the case. The police in Edo is not taking kindly to this kidnap case. Investigations are still ongoing. We will get to the root of the case. We are not relenting and will release her, unhurt.”
By Jethro Ibileke