By Michael Ofulue & Jinoh Ahmed, Ikare Akoko
The family of the Naval Officer, Lt. Commander Ajare Uchegbulah Amadi, abducted last Wednesday has rejected the N50million ransom demanded for his release.
According to a competent police source, the wife of the victim, Mrs Uchegbulah said the family could not even afford N100,000 for ransom.
However, the kidnappers were said to have also refused to reduce the ransom demanded from the family and have stopped negotiation with them.
The Hope Metro had exclusively reported that Lt. Commander Amadi and two other persons were kidnapped at Oba Akoko along the Owo/Ikare road in Ondo State on Wednesday on their way to Abuja.
The kidnappers were said to have emerged from the bush and abducted the victims along the road, at Ose- Oba in Akoko Southwest local government area of the state, while they abandoned the vehicle of the naval officer on the road.
The police source said the abductors had contacted his wife and demanded for N50 million through her husband’s handsets in his car.
Confirming the incident the Divisional Police Officer at Oba Akoko Police Division, SP Kayode Akinola said police have been combing the forest including the forest reserve linking Oba Akoko with Emure Ekiti without success.
The police officer said they will trail the kidnappers and make sure they were capture them while urging the people, particularly farmers, to give them useful information that could lead to their whereabouts.
Meanwhile, military hierarchy were doing a lot to rescue the abducted naval officer.
With latest incident, it is now apparent that kidnappers operating in Akoko area of Ondo State are now targeting military officers since the latest kidnap case will be the second barely two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Ondo State Police Command said it has deployed all its tactical Squad to Ose/Oba-Akoko in Akoko South East local government area of the state on a mandate to rescue the victim from his abductors.
The Tactical Squad included; the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad, FSARS, men of the Anti-Kidnapping ,operatives from State Criminal Investigation and intelligence Department, SCIID, Anti-Cultisim, Commissioner of Police monitoring unit and Scorpion Squad .
Also, men of 232 Artillery Brigade Command and Naval Operatives were combing the bushes around Ose and Oba Akoko axis of the state in search of the kidnapped officer and two others.
According to a reliable source, refusal of the abductors to reduce the ransom is raising a palpable tension on the possibility of the victim’s quick release from their den, just unlike his Army Captain counterpart and three others who were freed within two days after they were abducted along Auga/Akunnu Road.
It would be recalled that the suspected kidnappers, before releasing the Army Captain had demanded for 20 million naira ransom. The Hope metro gathered that the sum of 2 million was paid to the hoodlums before he could be released.
The state Police spokesman, ASP Tee-Leo Ikoro, who confirmed the efforts of the combined security forces to rescue the victim, hinted that the police boss had instructed all the tactical squads, including mobile policemen to ensure quick release of the officer.
According to Ikoro, ”Joint military/police operations have been launched and the victim will soon regain freedom. The hoodlums will be apprehended in no distant time.”
One of the operatives on the rescue mission told our correspondent that the officer might be released without ransom payment.
He said operatives on rescue mission would have to refrain from applying maximum force in their operation in order not jeopardise rescuing the Naval officer unhurt.