By Vincent Ujumadu
Awka -Â Chief Godwin Okeke, chairman of G.U.O Group of Companies who was kidnapped onÂ Sunday and released by his captors on Monday evening has said that it was the same people who kidnapped him that robbed a bank in Awka on Monday during which two people were feared dead and property worth millions of naira destroyed during their confrontation with the police.
Speaking with newsmen in Onitsha yesterday, Okeke who had bandages on his left leg and hand apparently as a result of injuries he sustained while struggling with his captors, said that his abductors planned the bank robbery operation while he was in their custody.
According to him, there was a mild drama between him and the boys when they wanted to release him and he objected to the offer, saying jocularly that he insisted on taking his own share of the bank loot. He said it was then they realized that he overheared them discussing on the bank robbery.
“They wanted to release me when they were about to leave for the bank robbery operation not knowing that I heard all their discussionsÂ on how they wanted to invade the bank, but I told them no, I will wait to take my own share of the loot.Â They said this man you are looking for trouble. I reminded them of their earlier promise that they will release me without collecting money from me if they succeeded in their bank operation and theyÂ then said okay that I should stay until they came back.”
The transport magnate said that the kidnappers /armed robbers became hostile to him when they came back after their robbery operation and started demanding for money from him, adding that he reminded them of their earlier promise.
On how much he eventually paid as a condition for his release, Okeke said he did not give them 10 percent of what they demanded as ransom before they released him. The kidnappers had earlier demanded a ransom of N500 million before his release.
Okeke said that what the boys were constantly telling him while he was with them was that they have no job, adding that those of them who were working were later sacked.
He appealed to the five governors of the South East states to provide jobs forÂ University graduates, as according to him, the boys who abducted him sounded so brillant andÂ spoke good English. They also have marvelous planning strategy, he said.