The immediate past Chairman of Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers, Eze Samuel Ohiri has refuted social media reports suggesting that the Nigerian Police Force played a role in securing his release after being abducted by unknown gunmen.
According to The PUNCH, the monarch while speaking at his palace, Eze Ohiri categorically denied any involvement of the police in his freedom, stating that he had to pay an undisclosed ransom in two instalments to secure his release.
The monarch said he endured 12 days in the kidnappers’ den, during which the police made no attempts to rescue him.
He said, “I wouldn’t have opened up, but I have to act this time to tell the world the truth because of the viral social media report. I don’t like any organization hiding under government cloak to speak lies, deceive the society and self-aggrandize itself.”
Narrating his ordeal, Eze Ohiri said that he came back to celebrate the 2023 Christmas and 2024 New Year with his family, people of Obi Orodo community, Mbaitoli Local Government Area people, and Imo State at large, only for him to wake up at early hours of that fateful day, on January 6, 2024, to enter into the hands of “what I can describe as “merciless boys (men).”
He said, “It was when I was coming back around 8:30 am, after visiting one of my old boys, who is an indigene of my community, that I, unfortunately, met able-bodied men within my palace, who came out from their vehicle and whisked me into their vehicle after a horrible struggle.
“I was forced in, but I thank God that nobody was shot because they were with guns. I thank God again, as my cousin’s brother smartly introduced himself to them as my driver and was freed. They blindfolded me and zoomed off to an unknown location.
“They first kept me in an uncompleted building, before I was transferred to another place. I saw hell during the 12 days I spent with my abductors.
“At first, it looked as if they had some special scores to settle with traditional rulers and politicians, but luckily for me, their leader came to the camp and ordered them not to torture me, that I am a decent man.
“Negotiation started at that point between my people and the kidnappers. It eventually resulted in my regaining my freedom after the first and second ransom was paid.”