Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s Mother Abduction: One Kidnapper Killed, Four Others Arrested
It is no longer news that Prof. (Mrs.) Kamene Okonjo; mother of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy who was kidnapped in her husband’s palace in Ogwashi Uku, Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State on Sunday had been freed by her captors.
Contrary to the earlier report that the Octogenarian was dumped by the daredevil abductors at the popular Kwale Junction; from where the police picked her up, the police have claimed that she was rescued from the kidnappers’ hideout in Asaba, Delta State capital.
Narrating how Prof Okonjo was rescued, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Ikechukwu Aduba, in a press conference in Asaba, Friday, said that one of suspected kidnappers was killed in the rescue operation, while four others were arrested by security operatives.
According to him: “we felt very sad when Mama was kidnapped and of course, we swung into action and we are happy to announce that Mama has now been released. Right now, she is at home hale and hearty. She reunited with her family early this morning. Mama was brought in this morning on a bike.”
“When we kick-started the operation, we knew their target, but we needed to be cautious and handle it professionally, considering the age of Mama.
“We knew what could have happened if we had invaded or stormed the place initially. We were able to identify the number one target, who masterminded the abduction. He is one Nwaeze Nwosa aka Bolaji, known to be a notorious kidnapper. He was arrested some couple of months ago before my arrival in the state. He was arraigned in court and was released on bail. He came to Asaba and continued the nefarious act, but this time around, he has met his waterloo.”
The police boss said nemesis caught up with the kidnappers when men of his command, supported by a heavily armed men from the Inspector General of Police special task force on terrorism, Abuja, invaded the hideout in Asaba.
He said: “They jumped a very high fence. Our men had no option other than to obey the rule of engagement. They opened fire and shot him (Bolaji), but he continued. Eventually we got him and arrested him and he was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), where he gave up the ghost. Four of them were picked, including the deceased. The deceased and another notorious member called Bright have been indicted in connection with the abduction.
“These are bunch of terrorists because of the names they bear. They call one Hard Rock, another one is Tse-Tse fly and the other is Tipper Boy. You can imagine. We thank God we have gotten enough data to go after the other hoodlums.” Aduba said the Volkswagen Golf car with registration number ASB 697 AA, which the hoodlums allegedly used in abducting Okonjo-Iweala’s mum has been recovered. Also recovered, according to him, was a white Toyota Bus with registration number APP 64 XA. The bus marked, missionary with the bold inscription of ‘God’s Delight City Church International’ on both sides.
It was gathered, the abductors tried to move the 82-year-old woman from one part of the state to another, in an attempt to smuggle her out the state entirely.
It was gathered that since, the palace of the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku and Prof Okonjo’s husband was deserted yesterday, except for the presence of armed security men on the road leading there.
While reacting, Palace spokesman, Chief Lawrence Okolobi, said: “Mama has been released. She is in the palace now. She came here on a bike this morning, but right now, the children have instructed that no member of the royal family should speak on the matter.”
DailyPost learnt that the freed woman has since been flown to Abuja, through the Asaba Airport.
Delta State Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah, while reacting to the release, described the development as “a thing of great joy. My heart is full of joy and the relief palpable for this runs contrary to all we hold dear as African in general and Midwestern Igbo in particular, where our culture is laced with respect for the elderly and where our traditional institutions are held in the highest esteem. “My prayer is that we shall never see anything like this again and our youth are admonished to retrace their steps from such hideous evil so as to avoid the wrath of God.