Vanguard (Lagos)

28 January 2013

Nigeria: Gunmen Kidnap Husband, Wife in Bayelsa

Barely seven days after the abducted mother of the Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mrs. Betinah Benson was released by her captors, unknown gunmen have struck yet again at Oloibiri in Ogbia local government area of the state, kidnapping the parents of the chairman of the council, Mr. Richard Ibegu.

The incident is the latest in the series of high profile kidnapping in the state targeted at families of political office holders.

Vanguard reliably gathered that the abduction of the couple identified as Mr. Festus and Mrs Ibiye Ebegu, occurred on Sunday at about 10.30pm in the riverside town of Oloibiri.

Though the motive of the kidnappers could not be ascertained, community sources told our correspondent that the gunmen, three in number, stormed the predominantly fishing and farming settlement in a speedboat.

The gunmen were said to have fired sporadically into the air on getting to the community ostensibly to whittle down resistance from the natives before heading straight to the residence of their victims.

The gunmen were said to have seize their victims and disappeared with them into the creek.

A security source who spoke anonymously said the police had been furnished with some vital information by a close aide of the chairman that would assist them in their investigation.

According to the source, the chairman had received threats in the past from from sources he declined to disclose in order not to jeopardize police effort in unmasking the perpetrators of the heinous act.

Contacted, the state police public relations officer, Fidelis Odunna (DSP) confirmed the incident. "A police crack team has swung into action with a view to apprehending the kidnappers," he said.

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