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Ex-Governor’s uncle, 87, suffers and dies in kidnappers’ den

By News Express on 30/08/2014

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Exactly one month after he was kidnapped, the uncle of former Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, 87 year old Chief Benson Eseni Adigio, has died in captivity, the state police command yesterday confirmed.

Unknown gunmen had last month stormed Sylva’s country home and abducted Pa Adigio Eseni.

Pa Adigio’s body was recovered in a shallow grave around a border town between Rivers and Bayelsa state known as Kula. This was after a ransom of N5 million demanded by his abductors to secure his release had been paid.

The police, in a statement announced that the corpse of Chief Adigio was recovered from a shallow grave where it was buried by the kidnappers.

The recovery was done under the supervision of a Senior Pathologist from the State Ministry of Health and deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa.

The state’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bello Ahmed, paraded a 27 years old suspect from Tofogbene Community in Burutu Local Government of Delta State in connection with the crime.

The police confirmed that the family has been informed about the development even as they said that full autopsy by a pathologist at the Federal Medical Centre was yet to be conducted on the recovered body.

Ahmed however stressed that more policemen have deployed to track down some identified suspects.

Ahmed said in a statement: “Today, 28th of August, 2014, on a tip-off, a combined team of security agencies in Bayelsa State and men of the Bayelsa Ministry of Health were led to a border town between Rivers and Bayelsa State near Kula village, where a shallow grave was discovered.

“On excavation, the body of the Late Chief Adigio Eseni, aged 87 years, who was earlier kidnapped on 28th of July, 2014 by unknown gun men was exhumed from the shallow grave under the supervision of a senior pathologist from the Bayelsa Ministry of Health. The Corpse was removed and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary Yenagoa for autopsy.”

Family sources told newsmen that the corpse of the late Chief was found in the shallow grave wrapped with strong polythene bags and dumped in the grave.

According to the source, “We have been informed by the police and would be present during the conduct of the autopsy. It is sad that a man that served the nation as a military man and retired as a Major was killed in a dastardly manner. It is a shame on the security of the state and the nation. We paid ransom of N5 million for his release and yet he was killed.”

Some members of the family have started assisting the police in the search for those they claimed participated in the payment of ransom to the unidentified kidnappers and were alleged to have started acquiring some properties including a Hilux Jeep and a Speed boat.

“We are trying to unravel where such wealth comes from and whether it is connected to the ransom purportedly paid,” they said in a statement.

The arrested suspect was identified simply as Nelson, confirmed to newsmen that the octogenarian died in their custody on August 14 before the ransom was collected from the family.

Nelson, who is a Secondary School Certificate holder, said he was recruited for the abduction of Chief Adigio under deceit and duress by the leader of the gang identified as Ebino.

Nelson said his share of the ransom was N250,000. According to him, “We begged him (our leader) to release the old man that the family had refused to discuss ransom, but he refused. The old man was confused. At night while the man was eating, he started choking and slumped. We rushed to his aid but he died.

“One Ebi, who has been discussing with somebody from the family side, said he would take the corpse of the old man back to the family. We argued and he insisted that he would bury him at Kula village. He buried the old man at the entrance of the community while we all wanted to leave and tag the kidnap as bad business, Ebi insisted on collecting the ransom. He said his share would assist him to escape abroad.”

•Adapted from a THISDAY report. Photo shows late Chief Benson Adigio-Eseni.

Source News Express

Posted 30/08/2014 6:33:16 PM





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