By Ike Uchechechukwu – Calabar
A popular Igbo businessman, Odinka Odinka, CEO Odinka Electrical & Electronics and five others have been abducted in the last few weeks amidst COVID-19 pandemic and partial lockdown in Cross River State.
The latest amongst the victims being Chief Odinka and a former Board member of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Calabar, FNPH, Princess Filia Henshaw both of them were picked up at the weekend in Calabar.
Vanguard gathered that Chief Odinka who is in his 70s and an asthmatic patient was picked from his shop on Friday at Target Street, Calabar South LGA at about 8 p.m.
Findings show that amidst the fear of COVID-19 as well as partial lockdown not less than five Igbo businessmen/women have been kidnapped in the state while Princess Henshaw was abducted late Sunday night from her residence by gunmen near Hawkins street in Calabar South LGA.
A family member who pleaded anonymity said: “The gunmen came inside the compound while the generator was on,,their first move was to turn off the generator to lure us outside,
“The moment I opened the door to check what happened, I was brutally attacked by two gunmen while others were waiting outside.
“Immediately Mma (the victim) heard the struggles between me and the gunmen, she advance outside, that was when she was ordered silently to a waiting car by the gunmen and was whisked away,” he said.
Further checks by Vanguard showed that apart from Chief Odinka, an IT consultant and younger brother to CEO of Andy Systems was also released recently after pathing with huge a sum of money including one Chidozie who imports clothes was abducted along Etta Agbor.
A source who pleaded anonymity told Vanguard that another business mogul paid 7 million naira while a female pharmacists who own a pharmacy at Orok Orok junction paid about 1 million naira before she was released too.
The source said: “About 4 Igbo people have been kidnapped amidst the spread of the pandemic and you can imagine paying millions of naira to criminals at this critical time.
“The situation is really degenerating and we are appealing to Governor Ben Ayade to help us; our people are losing money to these criminals,” he bemoaned.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the incidents said there were on top of the situation.
She said: “We are aware of the incidents and we are working on it, we are investigating the abduction of a businessman at Target and Princess Henshaw and we will get to the root of the matter.
“We also made progress at the weekend as we rescued another businessman who was kidnapped in Akampka LGA, we are not resting on our oars, we are matching our words with action by making sure we rid the state of all criminal elements.
“The public should be rest assured that our men are on the ground both uniform and plainclothes, we are working round the clock to ensure the safety of the people even at this critical time that COVID-19 seems to be the subject matter, we are at alert,” she assured.
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