27 Nov 2016

Kidnappers Kill Retired Bayelsa Principal after Ransom Payment

Suspected kidnappers in Bayelsa State have killed their victim, a 72-year-old retired school Principal, Chief Sunday Festus.

Festus, abducted since November 14, was reportedly murdered by his captors on Thursday, November 24, after his family paid an unspecified ransom for his release.

SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that Festus had already been killed before the kidnappers allegedly reduced the N500m ransom initially demanded to an amount the family could easily afford.

It was further learnt that Festus corpse, already decomposing, was found at Azaama, a border community between the Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor Local Government Areas of Bayelsa.

The septuagenarian was abducted by a four-man gang in his residence at Bomo clan in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state on November 14.

One of his children, Leigh, who confirmed the abduction, raised the alarm that his father was diabetic and that he was critically ill when he was whisked away.

He said, “The incident occurred at about 3.26am on November 14, 2016. The four-man gang of kidnappers arrived at the Foinbiri waterside at about 3.10am and went straight to my father’s residence.

“They broke the door protectors and forced him out of his room into a waiting double 75 horsepower speedboat.’’

On Saturday, emotion ran wild when the corpse of Festus was brought to the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, en route Marine Police Jetty.

Sympathisers, friends, children and other family members broke down in tears as the deceased’s corpse was carried on a stretcher into the FMC’s mortuary.

Also, another another son of the deceased, Daumiebi, a lawyer, said he could not understand why his father was abducted and murdered.

Though, he did not disclose the amount paid as ransom, he added that his suspicion was confirmed when the kidnappers reduced the ransom from N500m to “what the family could raise and urged us to hurriedly send the money to them.”

Daumiebi further said the two persons sent to deliver the ransom were stopped by the abductors, who ordered them to lie down facing the ground, collected the ransom and their mobile phones before asking them to carry the lifeless body of their victim.

He said his father was a Level 16 civil servant who served meritoriously as a principal and retired from Odioma Secondary School in the Brass LGA of the state.

When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi, said he was not aware of the incident.

He, however, requested our correspondent to give him details of the incident.

In his response to the text message, Ogunjemilusi wrote, “I will revert soon.”

But as of the time of filing this report, the CP had yet to do so.



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