By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka – BARELY a week after the kidnap of a popular Nollywood actor, Chief Pete Edochie in Onitsha, Anambra state, another notable figure in the state, this time, a popular Onitsha based transporter and industrialist, Chief Godwin Okeke, popularly known asÂ G.U.O, was kidnapped yesterday at about 9.45 am by armed men, numbering about 12 in front of All Saints Cathedral Onitsha.
Chief Okeke, who is the owner of GUO Transport Company, according to eyewitnesses was abducted immediately he came out of the Cathedral, were he had worshipped.
Unknown to the transported, the kidnappers had laid ambush for him, as he was said to have attended his usual 7am service at the Cathedral and immediately he came out of the cathedral gate, his captors swooped on him.
The kidnappers who operated with a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and a Toyota Commuter bus, according to eyewitnesses, went to the Onitsha Central Police Station, where they allegedly dislodged the Police before striking at the Cathedral, which is just a stone throw from the station.
His kidnapping was however, not without a struggle, as according to eyewitness, he (Okeke) gave them a tough battle before he was overpowered by the gunmen, who shot from the police station to adjoining streets in the area.
Okeke,about 70 years old, known for his agility and security consciousness, was said to have engaged the gunmen in a fierce battle, kicking one of them into the nearby gutter on the road and disarming another before his wife, who was in his company went for the gun of the one who fell into the gutter but was pushed away by one of the gunmen.
The eye witness further stated that Chief Okeke rushed to one of the kidnappers, dispossessed him of his gun and was aboutÂ to fire before another one hit him from the butt of the gun, before taking back the gun from him.
According to a reliable source, who was at the scene of the incident, the kidnappers fired several gun shots at him, which shattered his jacket but could not penetrate his body, before they resorted in a scuffle with him and it took about 15 minutes before they were able to push him into their car and escaped through the Awka Road,Â where they also shot sporadically, throwingÂ otherÂ road users into panic.
When contacted, the Commissioner of Police in the State, Mr. Uzor Amakulor said he has not received detailed information but promised to brief newsmen latter.
Also the Onitsha Police Area Commander, Mr. John Nwele said he could not comment yet on the issue as they are on a hot chase ofÂ the kidnappers.