…15 more Bethel Baptist students also released
By Uche Amunike
The 86 year-old mother of the Secretary to the Bayelsa state government, Madam Betinah Benson has been released by her abductors after keeping her in captivity for 34 days.
Her son, Honorable Kombowei Benson disclosed this information on his Facebook page where he expressed gratitude to God for the release of his mother.
The octogenarian was kidnapped on the 20th July 2021 at her residence at Old Legislative Quarters Azikoro Road, Yenogoa at about 11pm by unknown gunmen dressed in military camouflage uniform.
The Bayelsa state Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli and his men, after visiting her residence, assured the family that they will do their best to track down the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
A manhunt was launched according to the Bayelsa Police Public Relations Department, PPRO, Asinim Butswat and investigations, he assured was fierce.
A few days ago, a 27-year old suspect was arrested by the Nigerian Army after they took over the investigation into Madam Benson’s kidnap. He is an indigene of Olugboriri Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state, who goes by the name Stanley Woniowei.
Recall that this is not the first time the octogenarian has been kidnapped. She was first kidnapped in 2013 from her Korkorosei community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the State and held captive for some days before she was eventually released. That was when her son, Kombowei Benson was Speaker of the House of Assembly.
Even though her abductors demanded 500 million naira as ransom, nobody knows how much was eventually paid for her release.
Her son confirmed that it was the second time in nine years, that his mother had been kidnapped.
Bayelsa Commissioner of police, Echeng Echeng, confirmed her released while adding that it was pressure from the police that aided in her being released.
He went on to say that kidnapping was a serious crime and anybody who was a part of it no matter how small their involvement is, will be arrested.
A total of three suspects were arrested in connection with her kidnap.
Still on kidnap, a total of 15 kidnapped students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna have also been released by their captors after spending 46 days in their den.
Twenty-eight of them where earlier released after an additional N24m, (Twenty-four million) was paid.
The released students were conveyed in an 18 seater bus into the Secretariat, looking better than the last batch that was released looking disheveled and weak.
The president of the Baptist Convention, Rev Israel Akanji stated that the released students did not look pale like the formerly released ones because this time, they were allowed to get refreshed before being returned to their parents.
Speaking to newsmen after he handed over the students to their parents, he said that they were expecting that the bandits will release the rest of the children who now totalled seventy-eight in their den.