Anya Abah, the local government chairman in Bayelsa State who who was kidnapped on April 22, was released by his abductors at about 8.45pm on Sunday along the Ogonoko waterside in Abua/Odua Local Area of Rivers State, the police said.
Abah, according to the spokesman of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Butswat Asimin, was abandoned by his kidnappers following attempts by a special force of the State Anti-Kidnapping squad to invade their hideout in the area.
“Our policemen were on ground after adequate intelligence gathering. We beamed our searchlight on the area because of earlier intelligence gathered. The kidnappers got scared and abandoned their victim.”
The spokesperson said although a sister of the victim had informed the police of a ransom demand by the kidnappers, nothing was paid and he was released in good health.
It would be recalled that the kidnappers, numbering about four and armed with sophisticated weapons, barricaded Mr. Abah’s official Prado Jeep car along the Otuasega-Okaki road area of the Council on Wednesday and dragged him out at gun point.
According to an eyewitness account, the Police orderly attached to the chairman, reportedly came down from the vehicle to investigate the reason for a road blockage, but on seeing the heavy weaponry of the kidnappers and hearing a volley of gun shots released towards the vehicle, scampered for personal safety.
Relatives of the chairman said he had been on his way to the Council Headquarters to attend a stakeholders meeting on the need for the peaceful conduct of the aborted State Assembly constituency election in the area.
“The armed men dragged the council Chairman from his vehicle and transferred him into a blue colored Mazda,” an eyewitness told Leadership. “They drove him away towards waterside. At the waterside, he was taken to a speedboat stationed. The driver of the Blue Mazda was shot in the leg for refusing to follow the gunmen and their victim into the waiting speed boat.”
The Mazda was later set ablaze by the armed men along the waterside and the number plate taken away.