One of the three persons abducted by unknown gunmen within the last nine days in Rivers has died in the kidnappers’ den.
The development came just as the State Commissioner for Power, Mr. Augustine Wokocha, regained his freedom. The deceased identified as Dr. Richard Ihua-Maduenyi, was said to have taken ill and died as a result of his inability to get immediate medical attention.
Ihua-Maduenyi, who was the Director of Academic Planning and Statistics, Federal College of Education, Technical, Omoku; the State Commissioner for Power, Mr. Augustine Wokocha; and the College Librarian, Dr. R.F. Quadri had been kidnapped at different points across the state.
Our correspondent learnt that while the commissioner and Quadri were released on Saturday morning, Ihua-Maduenyi’s body had already been buried in a shallow grave by his abductors.
THE PUNCH learnt that an undisclosed sum of money was paid as ransom before Wokocha, who was kidnapped on October 13, 2012, was set free by his abductors last Friday night.
While a version of the story has it that Wokocha was shot on the leg by his abductors before his release, another account indicated that the commissioner was hale and hearty when he was released.
Those who regained their freedom were said to have narrated how the director of planning and statistics, Federal College of Education, Technical died after taking ill in the kidnappers’ den.
A source from Omoku, who spoke with our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said, “We leanrt that Ihua-Maduenyi took ill while in the kidnappers’ custody and died. His abductors later buried him in a shallow grave.
“The Commissioner for Power and the college chief librarian were released on Friday. It is not true that the commissioner was shot on the leg by his abductors. He was hale and hearty when he was set free.”
However, the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Ndabawa, who confirmed the release of the commissioner, said he (Wokocha) regained freedom at about 7pm on Friday. Ndabawa, however, declined comment on the said death of Ihua-Maduenyi.