• Police dispute abduction claim
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The former senator representing Ekiti North Senatorial District, Mr. Ayo Arise, has been kidnapped by suspected kidnappers.
He was kidnapped alongside his driver on Sunday evening along the Okene-Abuja highway.
The popular politician was said to have been travelling in his Mercedes Benz SUV when the gunmen struck by blocking his car and ferrying him into the bush.
The abductors have since contacted the family and demanded N80 million ransom, a source close to the family said Monday.
The abducted former parliamentarian was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation between 2007 and 2011 on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Arise, currently a governorship aspirant in Ekiti State, later defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) due to irreconcilable differences with Governor Ayodele Fayose prior to the 2015 general election.
Arise, according to the family source, was abducted while returning to Abuja from Oye Ekiti, his country home.
The APC chieftain was said to have attended a ceremony at Ikere Ekiti on Saturday, where a chieftaincy title was conferred on retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin.
After the ceremony, he returned to Ado Ekiti and visited the golf course along the Federal Polytechnic road before heading to his country home to meet with his political associates.
One of his closest allies, who craved anonymity said: “Yes, he visited Ekiti State on Saturday before returning to Abuja.
“When we wanted to establish contact with him, we could not. The last time I called him was around 6 p.m., so the kidnapping must have taken place around 7 p.m.
“They have contacted us and demanded the sum of N80m ransom. We are worried because we don’t know his situation.
“The family is working hard to secure his release and we have contacted all the relevant security agencies including the police to come to our aid,” he lamented.
However, the Police Command in Kogi said it was not aware of the reported abduction of the senator.
The Police Public Relations Officer for the command, ASP William Aya, told NAN in Lokoja Monday that the Okene-Lokoja road where the senator was said to have been kidnapped was under effective policing, saying that the claim was in doubt.