By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt
A kidnapped female lawyer, who was rescued in the early hours of Thursday by operatives of Anti-Kidnap Unit of the Rivers State Police Command, Paulette Bisola Ajayi, has revealed that her abductors concluded plans to kill her before the intevention of the Police.
Ajayi was rescued along with another kidnap victim, Paul Nyulaku, a staff of the British High Commission, Abuja, when security operatives stormed a deep forest at Okomoko Community in Etche local government area.
The female lawyer was kidnapped last Sunday night from her residence at Rumuokwurusi Community in Obio/Akpor local government area of the state by gunmen who were dressed in military uniform, and was whisked away in a white Toyota Venza.
Speaking with newsmen at Police headquarters in Port Harcourt, Ajayi said: “Some of the men (kidnappers) were violent; they kept beating me. Others kept telling me that they will let me go if the ransom is paid. They initially demanded for N50million but the next day, they increased it to N200million because of the attention my kidnap attracted.
“They were planning on how to kill me because they knew that as the news went round, pressure will be on them. They were actually planning yesterday (Wednesday) night to move me into the swamp to kill me. The Police came just in time because all I was doing was to pray.”
Addressing newsmen in his office, the state commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, said one of kidnappers was fatally wounded and one other, Chinedu Chigbu, aged 39, who was keeping watch over the victims was arrested during the rescue operation.
Mukan said: “In the wake of the operation, one of the kidnappers, Chinedu Chigbu, aged 39, who was keeping watch over them was arrested while one other was fatally wounded in the exchange of gunfire. He was taken to the hospital where he was confirmed dead while others escape into the bush with gunshot wounds.
“The camp was immediately destroyed. Exhibits recovered from them include one AK-47 rifle, a fully loaded magazine and one hundred rounds of live ammunition. Efforts are on to arrest other members of the gang.”
He enjoined residents of Etche and Omuma local government areas of the state to be security conscious and report anybody with gunshot wounds to the nearest Police Station.