Akwa Ibom monarch regains freedom from abductors after N50m ransome

HRM Ogwong Okon A. Abang, the paramount ruler of Akwa Ibom state’s Mbo Local Government Area (LGA), was kidnapped on the night of May 18 in his Ebughu Palace and released after a reported N50 million ransom was paid.

ASP Timfon John, Police Public Relations Officer for the Akwa Ibom Command, verified the monarch’s release.

John simply said, “Yes, it’s true” he has been released, but didn’t give any insight as to whether money changed hands.”

But a community leader told Vanguard, on condition of anonymity, that, “The monarch was released early this (Monday) morning and I can tell you the abductors collected N50Million to release him.

“The community is bitter, especially from realisation that some youths from within were among the kidnappers. We have vowed to get to the bottom of this and bring them to book.

“This whole thing is induced by sheer greed and then envy by some mischievous community stakeholders over the exalted stool the Paramount Rulers occupies. Long may he reign.

“The monarch has been taken to an hospital for proper medicare and his wife who was shot while he was being abducted is recuperating fast and would be discharged soon.”

The abductors, it would be recalled, struck at the palace at about 9pm fateful 18 May with roaring guns as they dragged the monarch away, leaving his wife, Obonganwan Okon Abang, shot on the leg.

The development had heightened concerns over the worsening insecurity in the state, especially killing and kidnapping of important personalities, with Oro ethnic bloc of the state most vulnerable due to its collapsed road network and porosity of its waterways.

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