Five members of same family returning home to Anambra State from a wedding ceremony in Abia State have been kidnapped by unknown gunmen on Saturday around Okigwe in Imo State.
In a twist, the kidnappers released the mother and her son, Chidinma Okonkwo, to go and raise N30 million ransom for the release of three others.
The family was travelling in a black Toyota Camry car when it was attacked.
Those kidnapped include the father, Okwudili Okonkwo, his wife, son and two other relatives.
“My dad, My mum, my cousin, my uncle and I were kidnapped yesterday by gunmen around Okigwe area of Imo State as we were returning from my cousin’s wedding around 5 p.m. My mum and I were released and told to get N30 million ready by today.
“Please any assistance from @PoliceNG or other armed forces will be appreciated. Anybody that can be of help in any way please contact my brother on 08066096887. Please help tag as many people as possible to retweet until they’re found,” the younger Mr Okonkwo wrote on Twitter.
One of the members of the same family, Chukwudi Okonkwo, who spoke with newsmen on Monday, said the kidnappers released his brother and mother around 10 p.m. on Saturday.
However, he said the kidnappers called earlier on Monday to request one million naira only as ransom for his father out of which only a little over N400,000 could be raised from donations from friends and sympathisers on social media.
“The update was so that they could release my dad. And that’s what we have been trying to raise since morning,” he said.
As of the time of filing this report, “I cannot count the number of police officers I’ve called between Saturday and now. Nothing from them at all,” he said.
The spokesperson of the police in Imo state, Orlando Ikeokwu, was yet to respond to newsmen enquiries after he demanded that an SMS should be sent.
Kidnapping has been on the rise in recent times, compounding Nigeria’s security challenges.
On Saturday, a priest from Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Marcel Onyeocha, was kidnapped.
Onyeocha, a professor of Philosophy at Imo State University, Owerri, was later freed by his abductors in the early hours of Monday.
He was said to have been dropped off at Ihube axis on Enugu-Okigwe Expressway, in the same axis on Saturday