A Councillorship aspirant, under the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Engr. Charles Igbenijie was kidnapped on Monday, December 7, 2020 a day after his official declaration to contest for the forthcoming Local Government Council Election in March 2021.
Speaking with Ika Weekly Newspaper Reporter after his return from the hostage of the kidnappers, the victim, Engr. Charles Igbenijie said he ran into the kidnappers whom he said are Fulani Herdsmen on his way returning from his community, Ute-Erumu where he went for a political meeting. He described his experience during the gruesome encounter which lasted for 3 days.
According to him, “I declared my intention to contest for the position of the Local Government Council Election, which took place in my community, Ute – Erumu ward 9c on Sunday, December 6, 2020.
The next day, being on Monday, we also had another meeting with regards to my political ambition. It was on my way back that I ran into the kidnappers at the rail – way line between Ute – Alohen and Owa – Alero communities in Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta state,” he said.
Engr. Igbenijie disclosed that on reaching the scene of the incident, at about 8:30 pm he saw somebody lying in a pool of blood on the middle of the road with his motorcycle. He said that he actually stopped as a sympathizer and also because there was no way for his vehicle to pass. He added that immediately he stopped his vehicle, while the ignition of the car was on, he saw six men coming out from the bush to meet him, three persons from the front and another three at his back.
Speaking further, the victim stressed that before he could utter a word, he was dragged from his vehicle into the bush, physically assaulted and plummeted repeatedly.
The Councillorship aspirant said the criminals asked him a question and said “have you finished running? Finally you are here with us, oya run again now”. He noted that as they were in the bush, they searched his pocket and took the N38,000 he had including his handset. He also said that he made several efforts to stop, them from taking him far, but all efforts he made proved abortive as they told him that they are kidnappers and are not ready to negotiate with him there.
In addition, he said there was a point they got to, the kidnappers stopped and brought out a customized A.T.M P.O.S Machine which he said they used to access the N1.7 Million in his bank account.
The victim sharing his experience in the bush said he was taken through Emuhu community to Ottah River, from there to Olije and stopped in a forest at Igbanke where he was held captive for three days. He said journey from Owa – Alero/Ute-Alohen to Igbanke lasted for eight hours.
The aspirant stated that at the end of the negotiations with them, a ransom of N3 million excluding the cost of his Android phone and N38,000 they took from his pocket. He however, appreciated God for preserving his life through the harrowing experience and eventual release.