John Shiklam in Kaduna
Facts have emerged on how Mrs. Esther Katung, the wife of Pastor Ishaku Katung of ECWA Church in Bagoma, Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State was killed by suspected kidnappers after collecting a ransom of N250,000 from the family.
The deceased was abducted on September 14 in Bagoma when bandits broke into her home at about 11.30 p. m., but her husband was said to have escaped with serious injuries when the kidnappers came calling.
Family sources said late Esther Katung and other two victims initially escaped from the captivity, but she ran out of luck and was recaptured by the kidnappers, who broke her leg and smashed her head, leading to her death.
The bandits were said to have dumped her corpse in the bush, but this was later discovered days after the family paid the ransom.
The source said even after killing her, the hoodlums gave the impression that she was still alive and insisted on collecting the ransom before releasing her.
The kidnappers were said to have demanded for N5 million as ransom, but after series of negotiations and pleas, they agreed to collect N250,000 for her release.
The source explained that people who went to deliver the ransom had to run for their dear lives as the bandits burnt their motorcycles after collecting the money.
Confirming the incident, Chairman of the Kaduna State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Joseph Hayab, lamented that human life has been reduced to nothing in Nigeria.
He described as very scary the alarming rate of kidnappings in Kaduna State, noting that people are living under perpetual fear of the unknown.
Hayab said: “What really happened was that, she attempted to escape with two others. But she was not lucky. They killed her and dumped her corpse in the bush. After they had killed her, they were still demanding for the ransom without telling us that they had killed her and the ransom was delivered to them. They burnt the motorcycle of those who went to deliver the ransom and collected their mobile phones.”
Efforts to get the reaction from the Public Relations Officer, Kaduna State Police Command, Yakubu Sabo, on the issue was unsuccessful as his mobile phone was switched off.