ByÂ Chidi Nkwopara, OWERRI.
Kidnapping in Imo State took a dangerous dimension Monday with the reported abduction of the President, Customary Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Ambrose B.C. Egu, by a gang said to be wearing army uniforms.
The Registrar, Customary Court of Appeal and wife of the traditional ruler of Owerri, Ugoeze pauline Njemanze, was also kidnapped by the armed hoodlums during the same operation.
Unconfirmed reports also had it that two unidentified university professors, who were on their way to the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, were also kidnapped.
Vanguard investigations revealed that Justice Egu and Ugoeze Njemanze were on their way to visit some customary court project sites in Ngor Okpala local council area of the state.
It was also gathered that the duo were kidnapped between Enyiogugu, Aboh Mbaise local council area and Umuohiagu, Ngor Okpala local government area of the state.
A very competent source in Customary Court of Appeal disclosed that Hon Justice Egu’s police orderly was overpowered and disarmed, while the drivers of the Registrar and the Judge were thrown out of the cars.
As at the time of going to press, neither the kidnapped persons nor the official cars have been seen.
Meanwhile, Imo State Police Command has expressed deep regret over what it called “the reprehensible and ungodly incident in which a few indigenes of the state were kidnapped by yet to be identified hoodlums”.
According to a release signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Linus Nwaiwu, the command shares in the pains of the family members of the victims, even as he reiterated the preparedness of the police to ensure the safe rescue of the victims.
“The incident does not in any way suggest that the security in the state is porous or that the police in the state has gone to sleep. The command has stepped up security in all the nooks and crannies of the state top curb the trend”, the PPRO said.