Operatives of the special security outfit, Operation Puff Adder, has secured the release of Madam Benital Benson, mother of the secretary to the Bayelsa State government (SSG), Hon Kombowei Benson from the kidnappers’ den after 32 days in captivity.
The 80-year- old woman was in a jubilant mood when she was handed over to his son at about 5.30pm in presence of relatives and security operatives.
LEADERSHIP gathered that her release followed pressure from the operatives of Operation Puff Adder of the state command of the Nigeria police led by Christian Nwaogbo. Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the abduction.
It was also gathered that a sum of N4million was paid to the kidnappers and two android phones. A payment that was described by the Bayelsa SSG, Kombowei Benson, as a token gift to the kidnappers and not ransom payment.
Madam Benital Benson, while laying hands and praying for the commander of the Operation Puff Adder, expressed gratitude to God and the men of the police force for securing her release from the kidnappers. She said though her abductors treated her well, she was happy to be back home in one piece.
Benson told newsmen that despite the fact that five members of his family have been victims of kidnapping in the state, he vowed never to pay ransom and trusted in the security agencies and God to secure the release of her mother.
“Mama is back to the house and I want to give thanks to God and the security team in the state. I am so happy that my mother is back. Even if I tell people that ransom was not paid, they will not believe me. When they demanded for N500million, I stood my ground. Even when I say I will not pay, I gave them a token to allow mama came back home,” he said.
Reacting to the development, the state commissioner of police, Mr Echeng Eworo Echeng, told newsmen that the pressure from the police led to her release. “Our message to those involved in such heinous act is that it is a crime and no matter how involved you are, you will be arrested,” he said.