By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT, Rivers state-based lawyer, Paulette Ajayi has said gunmen who abducted her on 4 October raised her ransom from N50Million to N200Million as news of her kidnap went viral.
Paulette who was rescued in the wee hours of Thursday by men of the Police Command in Rivers, along with a British High Commission official at Okomoko forest, Etche Local Government Area, also said her abductors were on the verge of killing her when police made timely intervention.
Reliving her order, the exhausted-looking Paulette said at Rivers Police Command’s Headquarters that, “On Sunday they took me in front of my family members. They then told me they had killed my family members.
“I don’t know where they kept me, but they were going to ask for a ransom of N50Million, but by next day the ransom went to N200Million as everybody had reported that I was missing. Some of the men were violent, kept beating me. Others kept saying they will let me go if the ransom is paid.
“They were to kill me, knowing as the news went round, pressure will be on them. They were actually planning yesterday (Wednesday) night to move me into the swamp to kill me. The Police came just in time because all I was doing was to pray.”
Rivers Commissioner of Police (CP) Joseph Mukan, said, “In wake of the operation, one of the kidnappers, Chinedu Chigbu, 39, who watch over the victims was arrested, another fatally wounded in the exchange of gunfire was taken to the hospital and confirmed dead while others escape into the bush.
“Their camp was immediately destroyed. Exhibits recovered from them include one AK-47 rifle, a fully loaded magazine and one hundred rounds of live ammunition. Efforts are on to arrest other members of the gang.”