Suspected kidnappers abduct ex-Shell staff in Imo

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By CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI—Palpable confusion has pervaded the peaceful  community of Ndionyeagorom Village, Awa, Oguta local council area of Imo State, following bizarre kidnap of their son, Ottih John Ottih.

Vanguard gathered that Ottih, an engineer and a retired senior staff of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and currently one of the presidential aides on petroleum matters, was attending Sunday Mass in his church, Saint Michael’s Catholic Church, Awa, when the hoodlums struck.

The hoodlums, who were suspected to be among the congregation came in a metallic red coloured Jeep and were four in number.

Ottih, according to eyewitness account, was later trailed to Umuofor autonomous community where they waylaid him and fired several shots at his car.

“His younger brother, Ndubuisi, was hit in his right hand, while the soft spoken engineer was immediately blindfolded and taken away in the kidnappers’ Jeep”, a villager told Vanguard.

It was also gathered that the incident occurred at about 2.30pm but it was not clear at press time if he was going to Port Harcourt, where his family stays or Owerri.

All the villagers, who spoke in low tones when Vanguard visited the community, affirmed that he was in the fore front of underwriting expenses of his local church and actually made some donation at the Sunday mass before he was kidnapped.

“The man is very simple, unassuming and loving. He redeemed his earlier pledge to the church that Sunday and was preparing to host members of his community to an Easter dinner before the criminals struck,” the villager recounted with grief.

At the time of going to press, no member of Ottih family had been reached by the hoodlums and whereabouts and safety of  the victim remained a mystery.

Efforts made to reach the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Mr. Samuel Oodee, for his comment on the kidnap proved abortive as he neither picked or returned telephone calls.

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