Kidnappers of Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Dr. Hope Eghagha, have reportedly increased their ransom demand for his release to N100 million.
There is no clear information on his whereabouts, more than two weeks after his kidnap, but Delta State Police Command spokesperson, Mr. Charles Muka, told Vanguard, yesterday, that the police were searching for him and his abductors, assuring that he would be released unhurt.
Dr. Eghagha was abducted on September 30, on his way to Asaba, the state capital, from Warri, by kidnappers, who shot dead his police orderly on the spot.
A suspected linkman to the kidnappers initially called asking for N10 million to facilitate his release, but had since switched off the line when he suspected he could be seized and counted as a member of the kidnap gang.
Vanguard learnt, however, that the kidnappers called some persons close to the commissioner demanding N100 million for his release.
A police source said: “It is clear that the family of the commissioner had been contacted but it is not certain that they are disclosing every information to the police, as the police seemed to be in the dark about the discussions between the kidnappers and the family.”
A source told Vanguard that police detectives travelled out of the state to other states in the past two weeks in search of the kidnappers, but “there is no trace so far.”
Meanwhile, Forum for Justice and Human Rights Defence, FJHD, yesterday, condemned the abduction and illegal detention of the commissioner by kidnappers, who killed his police orderly in the process of his kidnap and wounded his driver.
National coordinator of the group, Mr. Oghenejabor Ikimi, in a statement, said: “We call on the abductors of the commissioner to immediately release him unconditionally and unhurt on humanitarian grounds, while we commiserate with the family of the deceased policeman.
“We call on both Delta State Government and the Federal Government to adequately compensate the widow and children of the fallen policeman as the deceased died in active service.”