The police in Awka, Anambra State have told journalists how abductors of Pa Simeon Soludo, father of former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Professor Charles Soludo, released the old man last night.
He was said to have been released at a location in Uga in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State.
According to the police, the kidnappers had earlier called the Soludo family to inform them to collect their father late last night.
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Oshodi Glover, who was in the family house this morning confirmed: “It is very true we have seen him (Pa Soludo) now. He is hale and hearty. He was released last night.”
One of Pa Soludo’s children told newsmen that the kidnappers had earlier in the day called the family to come for their father at the said location late last night.
Another of his sons told our reporter: “We are all happy that our father is released, but we are still sober.”
He said he was in town to ensure he undergoes a thorough medical examination, to confirm his state of health.
However, DCP Glover, while answering reporters’ questions, refused to confirm or deny the payment of any ransom to the kidnappers before Pa Soludo was released.
There was speculation that N200 million was paid to the kidnappers before the old man was let off the hook.The internet was abuzz this morning with such speculation. But no Soludo family member was ready to confirm if such money was paid. And the police also denied such ransom was paid.
The DCP confirmed that five persons have been arrested in connection with the kidnap saga while one of the abductors managed to escape.
As at the time of going to press, journalists were bared from speaking to Pa Soludo. His photograph was not allowed to be taken. The police insisted that he needed to recover from the shock. Visitors were not allowed to see or talk to him.
Pa Soludo was abducted by a five man gang of gun wielding kidnappers who stormed his family house in Isuofia in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State in a black Mercedes Benz car at about 7.30 p.m on October, 27 2009.
The kidnapers initially demanded N500 million as ransom but they came down to N300 million later. There were speculations that the old man was abducted by agents of the political opponents of Charles Soludo, who lost out when the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, decided to nominate the former Central Bank Governor as the party’s standard bearer in the poll scheduled for February next year.
The politicians however denied the accusation, accusing Soludo in turn for organising the kidnap of his father to paint the opposition black and evil. Last night, it was the former CBN governor who broke the news of his father’s freedom in a text message:“To God be the glory, my father has just been released by kidnappers. We are emboldened by this experience to dedicate our life to the service of our fatherland and to find lasting solution to the problem of kidnapping. Those who sought to break our will must be told that the wind of change in Anambra is unstoppable.”
It will be recalled that in 2006, unknown gunmen shot the father in the eyes when his son was in the final stages of implementing sweeping reforms of Nigeria’s troubled banking sector.
Kidnapping for ransom, which occurs frequently in Nigerian especially in the Southern oil hub has recently spread across the vast West African country.
Most hostages are released unharmed after a few days or weeks, often when a ransom is paid, yet in some cases victims are killed.
In the first six months of this year, more than 500 people were abducted across the country with 10 of them killed, according to the Police Affairs Minister, Yakubu Lanre.
Mexicans Set Up Labs In Nigeria To Produce Meth, Reps Confirm
House of Representatives, yesterday, explained that since 1990 the production of crystal meth had been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers, who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.
The lawmakers then mandated the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), to go after peddlers of Methampheramine nicknamed Mkpuru-Mmiri and other hard drugs in the country with a view to stamping them out.
The House also asked the agency to reintegrate and strategize further on its enforcement and enlightenment capacity to cover the mode and cure for meth addiction which, it said, has no medical treatment at the moment.
The resolution followed a motion titled “Urgent Need to Sensitize Nigerians on the Danger of Widespread Meth Epidemic and Effect of Crystal Meth on the Nigerian Youths”, moved by Henry Nwawuba at the plenary.
Presenting the motion, Nwawuba noted the widespread meth epidemic and the effect of crystal Meth on Nigerians, especially the youths.
He also noted the highly addictive street form of the pharma grade amphetamine and the ill-equipped handling or stopping of the spread.
“Many homes in the south east are currently facing the dangerous effect of Methampheramine nick-named Mkpuru-Mmiri which translates to seed of water.
“Crystal meth is a crystal narcotic hallucinogen that is capable of destroying a person mentally.
“An estimated 75percent of the users in our society are adversely affected and they have become a burden to their families and communities.
“Since 1990 the production of Crystal Meth has been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.
“Methamphetamine also known as Crystal Meth or Mkpuru mmniri was developed in Japan in 1919 and grossly abused during World War II when it was issued to pilots on suicidal mission then called KamKaze.
“After the world war, it was used briefly as a medication for depression and for controlling obesity, but it was quickly abandoned and banned thereafter, especially in the 1970s.
“As a stimulant, it has a powerful euphoric effect similar to those of cocaine.
“Meth typically keeps users awake depriving them of sleep, making them react violently and takes a toll on the physical look of its users,” he said.
Contributing to the motion, the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu asked NDLEA to trace the manufacturers and others in the chain.
“Who are the manufacturers? Where is the factory? Where is it manufactured? Who are the traders?
“When you beat young people, it is like double jeopardy. Somebody is a victim of the drug and you are still beating them.
“NDLEA should trace, and we should ensure rehabilitation of the victims and make sure we take meth out of the market.
“That is the quickest thing we can do; after taking meth out of the market, then we will know what to do with our citizens who are already victims,” he said.
Also speaking, Lynda Ikpeazu said that many youths of young ages were involved in the consumption of the drug.
“It does sound like a joke, but it is actually very serious and killing a lot of people.
“In the next 10 years, if we don’t stop it, we are going to have a zombie society.”
Join Campaign To End Violence Against Women, Girls, Banigo Tells Nigerians
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has called on all well- meaning citizens, especially the male folk to join the campaign to end violence against women and girls.
Banigo made this call in her goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, to commemorate the 2021 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.
The deputy governor, who urged the male folk to be strong advocates in the quest to eliminate violence against women and girls, noted that violence against women and girls increase in the society during crises.
She said it manifests in physical, sexual and psychological means and most times perpetrated by trusted family members, while the rest of society look the other way, adding that sometimes women are also culpable when it comes to violence against fellow women.
Banigo said the state government under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike takes the security and wellbeing of women as top priority with zero tolerance for violence against women.
It would be recalled that November25 each year is set aside to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
It also marks the launch of 16 days of activism that would end on December 10, 2021, which is the International Human Rights Day.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”.
Similarly, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has said that every girl-child must be intentional and focused in order to achieve success in life.
Banigo stated this while speaking during the Girl Child Initiative, Just Girls Talk Programme at the Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta (UBE), last Wednesday, organised by the Youth Church of the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries in Port Harcourt.
Speaking through the Coordinator, Protect the Girl Child Initiative of the Deputy Governor’s Office and Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor, Barrister Inegogo Fubara, Banigo said women are leaders created by God to solve problems.
“We are problem solvers, do not ever think of yourselves as being little because you are wonderfully created for a purpose. We are here to tell you that you can be whatever you want to be, but you have to work it out, education is very important and you must take it very seriously and be diligent in what you are doing”, Banigo said.
The deputy governor, who described Wike as the most gender friendly governor in the country said apart from having a female deputy, he has continued to appoint women into positions of trust and has encouraged women to run for elective positions.
Banigo commended the school authorities and the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries for the putting up the Just Girls Talk Programme.
In his remarks, the Regional Overseer of the youth church, Pastor Chinedu Udechukwu said the Just Girls Talk Programme, has been going on in the church for years, noting that after the pandemic they decided to re-strategize and take it off to schools to talk to young girls about their vision and expose them to our Lord Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Also speaking, the Coordinator of the Just Girls Talk Programme, Mrs. Esther Udechukwu said the Just Girl Talk was organised to enlighten young girls on the consequences inherent in premarital sex, the physical and spiritual aspects, as well as to empower and sharpen them for the future.
Police Smash Four Deadly Kidnappers In Rivers
Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in collaboration with policemen from the Rivers State Police Command, have arrested a kidnap syndicate that specialised in using Facebook and WhatsApp to lure their victims, in Port Harcourt.
The suspects admitted during interrogation to have kidnapped, tortured, raped and robbed their victims.
They admitted that their targets were usually female and that they have successfully collected ransoms from at least ten 10 female since January, 2021, with N5million their highest ransom.
The nabbed suspects are: Izunna Fidelis, 21; Humble Unity Okeregwu, 24; Izuchukwu Nwaobiri, 22; and Chibeze Nwike,23.
They were arrested in Choba and Etche areas of Rivers State.
According to the police, for suspects to get the attention of their victims, they take to their respective Facebook pages posing as foreigners working in multinational oil companies in Rivers State and professing love as well as proposed marriage to their Facebook girlfriends, all in a bid to trap them.
The police said their arrest followed report of kidnapping for ransom and the gang-rape of a 27-year-old lady identified simply as Happiness, on August 28, 2021.
According to leader of the gang, Nwaobiri, “The first thing we do is to check Facebook profiles for beautiful girls. Then, we would add them to our friend lists. Each of us works on different persons. I would start up a conversation with my supposed girl, exchange pleasantries and tell her that I worked with an oil company. I also asked if she was married or single.
“It takes time to familiarize with them, say two to three months. Thereafter, we would progress to WhatsApp chats and then telephone calls and when friendship has been established, we will invite them over to the company’s base which is a bush where they would be blindfolded and calls put across to their families.”
Nwaobiri added: “I started earlier this year because of circumstances. My mum is late, my dad has a stroke and I have been the one catering for everything. I have been involved in seven cases but succeeded in four.
“We only rape our captives if they don’t cooperate. That is, if they don’t mount pressure on their relatives to pay ransom.”
Business3 days ago
Flight Delays Loom As Air Traffic Controllers Embark On Strike
Business3 days ago
Wike Accuses Security Agents Of Involvement In Oil Bunkering
Business3 days ago
Capital Inflow Crashes By 80%, As Foreign Investors Shun Nigerian Market
Business3 days ago
Firm Launches App To Ease Insurance Transactions
Business3 days ago
Analysts Predict Rising Inflation In Nigeria By Dec
Business3 days ago
TCN Begins Repairs Of Circuit Breakers Nationwide
Featured3 days ago
Consider Oil Theft Treasonable Offence, Wike Tells Military
Sports3 days ago
2021/2022 Season: NWFL Clubs Get Nov 25 Registration Deadline