Leadership (Abuja)

13 December 2012

Nigeria: Kanene Okonjo - Kidnappers Insist On Speaking With Minister

Abductors of Professor Kanene Okonjo, mother of the coordinating Minister for Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, yesterday, from their hideout, insisted on speaking with the minister three days after they kidnapped her mother right inside her father's palace.

LEADERSHIP sources disclosed that the abductors, at about 12:30pm, had mistakenly called a GSM number of her first son, Prince Onyema Okonjo after they were said to have taken away a hand bag belonging to one of the maids in the house during their operation.

At the time of the incident, Obi Chukwuka Okonjo, husband of the kidnap victim and the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku, had travelled for ASUU conference holding at Nasarawa

A member of the palace, Prince Okolobi, who is the Ozuma of Ogwashi-uku, said the kidnappers desecrated the community as they committed sacrilege, abducting the Queen Mother in the palace.

He disclosed that the kidnappers were yet to name their price and added that they insisted on speaking with the Minister and nobody else.

According to the Ozuma: "They said they are not desperate about money but want to speak with the minister before they will say something"

LEADERSHIP checks revealed that the eldest son of Professor Okonjo, Prince Oyema Okonjo, who picked the calls was reportedly said to have pleaded with the kidnappers to release his mother as she was diabetic.

Confirming to journalists, Prince Onyema said: "They spoke with me and insisted that they want to speak with the Minister and not me, and I appealed to them to release my mother".

LEADERSHIP investigation also revealed that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and the State Security Service (SSS) had on Tuesday advised the minister to cancel her trip to Ogwashi-Uku for Security reasons as the security reports indicated the coast was not clear for her journey.

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