Abductors’ silence heightens fears over kidnapped DPO’s safety
There is growing anxiety among officers and men of the Delta State Police Command as well as family members of the kidnapped Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of the ‘C Division’ Asaba, Valentine Mbalu, following the refusal of his abductors to continue communication with his family.
Although the police spokesman in the state, Mr. Andrew Aniamaka, had earlier told newsmen that the police were on top of the situation to ensure his release, family members, who spoke to The Guardian yesterday on the condition of anonymity, said their brother’s abductors have since last Wednesday refused to pick their calls after nearly three weeks of Mbalu being in their custody.
It was gathered that from earlier discussions with the kidnappers, the ransom was reduced first from N100 million to N20 million and a further reduction to N5 million. Family members were also instructed to while bringing the ransom, provide some energy drinks, as the victim was weak.
Police sources, who did not want to be named, disclosed that fear of the unknown is heightening following the refusal of the abductors to call after two times they called last week Wednesday.
Aniamaka dismissed such fear, saying that though the DPO’s whereabouts was still unknown, the police would do everything possible to ensure he is released unhurt.
It would be recalled that the DPO was abducted nearly three weeks ago on his way to Asaba from Agbor between Issele-Uku and Igbodo on the Asaba/Benin Highway around 4:15p.m. by armed men, who forced him into their car and drove to an unknown destination.
Since then, the kidnappers had established contact twice with the family before abruptly ending communication with the victim’s family.
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old barbing apprentice identified as Victory (surname withheld) has allegedly been shot dead in Oleh by suspected cult members during a supremacy battle with a rival cult group.
It was gathered that Victory was allegedly killed around Urusevwe Street by a stray bullet on Sunday night during the cult war by rival groups.
Aniamaka confirmed that the police have arrested two persons in connection with the apprentice’s death, adding that they were currently being detained for further investigation.