By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—THE abductors of the District Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church, Ikorodu, Lagos State, Rev Ekpenyong James, have demanded a ransom of N50 million.
The gunmen abducted the pastor at Okurikang Junction, along Calabar-Itu Highway weekend.
The cleric, an indigene of Isong Inyang village in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State, was said to be constructing a school, hospital and palm plantation in his home town, when he was abducted.
A source, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that the pastor was returning from an inspection visit to the projects sites, when he was trailed and abducted.
The source said: “The abductors have made contact with the family and they are demanding N50 million ransom for his release. They think because the man is undertaking many projects, he has some huge amount of money stashed away somewhere.”
Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the incident, said the Police was working round the clock to ensure his safe release.
She told Vanguard that the lady who was with him at the time of the incident is being investigated, as she was the first contact and suspect.
Her words: “The lady who was with him at the time he was kidnapped said when the men came to drag him out of the vehicle, he was making call.
“People ran away and she went to hide somewhere; you know that this is a serious matter and we are not leaving any stone unturned. We want to get to the root of the matter.
“She is our first contact and suspect. We’re investigating her because the next day we contacted his wife and the DPO got some useful information from her.
“By the grace of God, we are working on it and he will be released very soon; we are hopeful because we are closing in on them.”