Sylvester Idowu in Warri
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Chike Onyemenam, who was kidnapped a week ago along the Benin-Asaba Expressway, has been released by his abductors after alleged payment of N7.5 million ransom and without police intervention.
Onyemenam was reportedly abducted last Monday at Utulu junction along Benin- Asaba Expressway in Issele-Azagba in Delta State and was released on Saturday.
Family sources, who had earlier confirmed his abduction, yesterday said the SAN was released after the family paid a sum of N7.5 million to the abductors to secure his release.
THISDAY gathered that the gunmen had demanded N15 million ransom, but later reduced it after the family pleaded with them.
“The SAN was released around Ubulu-Uku axis after the family pleaded for his release. The abductors finally reduce their ransom from N15 million to N7.5 million which was paid before he was released.
“We thank God he was not hurt. As I speak to you now, he is fine,” the family source disclosed.
Delta State Police Command had last Monday allegedly denied knowledge of the kidnap incident even when the family insisted that Onyemenam was abducted by gunmen.
The police denial, THISDAY observed, generated a widespread condemnation by residents, who, according to various posts on social media, expected the security agents to rise up to the occasion.
When contacted on Onyemenam’s release, Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeyinka Adeleke, maintained that his command was not aware of the incident.
“I am not aware a Senior Advocate of Nigeria was kidnapped in the state. I am not aware that he has been released by his abductors. I am not aware ransom was paid for his released,” he said.