Operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Rivers State Police Command have rescued an abducted lawyer, Bisola Ajayi.
The 25-year-old female lawyer was kidnapped on Sunday at her residence in Rumuokwurusi Obio-Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State but was rescued on Wednesday in a thick forest in Etche Local Government Area of the state.
According to the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, she was rescued alongside one other person, while two suspects were arrested, including an arms dealer.
Ajayi, who was rescued by operatives of the anti-kidnap unit of the police command, told newsmen yesterday that her abductors had planned to kill her the day she was rescued.
Ajayi, who looked quite pale and tired, disclosed that her abductors had earlier demanded N50 million for her release, but later increased it to N200 million when they realized that many people were concerned and were talking about her abduction.
The lawyer, while speaking with newsmen at the State Police Headquarters, Moscow Road, disclosed that she was rescued the exact day the bandits had concluded to kill her.
Ajayi said: “On Sunday evening, I was taken by gunmen in front of my house in Rumuokwurishi. They shot at me before whisking me away in front of my family members. I actually did not know where they took me to, but the first day, they demanded N50 million from my family members. They later increased it to N200 million because according to them, everyone was talking about my abduction.
“While I was there, some of them kept hitting me, but some told me that they would let me go if the ransom was paid. So, yesterday, being Wednesday, they decided that they were going to kill me. They kept checking my body, looking for how to execute me, but I kept praying in my heart before the police operatives came and rescued me.”
She expressed gratitude to all who worked hard to ensure her safe and quick release. “I just want to thank the governor, Nyesom Wike, the Police Commissioner, Joseph Mukan, the anti-kidnapping squad, the Nigeria Bar Association, and everyone that intensified efforts to ensure my safe return,” she added.
The police boss, while briefing newsmen on how the young lawyer was rescued, said: “Operatives of the Anti-Kidnapping Unit, on Wednesday night, about 9:00 p.m., stormed the forest at Okomoko in Etche Local Government Area of the state, where Ajayi, who was abducted on October 4, was rescued.”
He confirmed that Bisiola was freed along with one Paul Nyalaku, of the British High Commission in Abuja. Nyalaku was kidnapped the same day with Bisola along NTA Road, Mgbuoba in Obio/Akpor council area.
“In the wake of the operation, one of the kidnappers, Chinedu Chigbu, ‘m’ aged 39, who was keeping watch over them, was arrested while one other was fatally wounded in the exchange of gunfire. He was taken to the hospital where he was confirmed dead, while others escaped into the bush with gunshot wounds.
“Their camp was immediately destroyed. Exhibits recovered from them include one AK-47 rifle, a fully-loaded magazine, and 100 rounds of live ammunition,” he said.
The commissioner said efforts were on to arrest other members of the gang. He, therefore, appealed to the public, particularly residents of Etche and Eberi in Omuma Local Government areas of the state, to increase their security consciousness and report anybody with gunshot wounds to the nearest police station.