A businessman in Nasarawa State, Osondu Nwachukwu, has been killed by his abductors despite receiving a ransom for his release.
In an interview with Channels Television, Nwachukwu’s family called for more government action at the state and federal levels in tackling the security challenges bedevilling the country.
Nwachukwu, aged 55, resided in Nasarawa for over 30 years and was a sachet water seller who used his apartment for residential purpose and production point.
His pastor, Reverend Father Joshua Obile, described him as a peace-loving man whose major concern was to provide for his family.
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The clergyman said, “He doesn’t like trouble with anyone, you hardly see him exchanging words with people.
“He was a lover of peace, even in his house when I come around to visit them, you will always see him up and doing. He is a man who is committed, diligent, and obedient.”
Nwachukwu was seized from his residence on October 30 by suspected robbers who dispossessed him of cash, valuables, and documents of his house.
After several days in captivity, a ransom of N20 million was demanded and after several pleas, it was reduced to N10 million and further down to N40,000, which was paid.
However, he didn’t come back alive.
An Unexpected Death
Reacting to his death, Nwachukwu’s wife, Nnenna and his eldest son, Uchenna, demanded a change of mind from the citizens and more government action in tackling the menace of kidnapping.
“I want God to have mercy on us because human beings are very bad, even if God provided people to guard the country, we don’t know their minds; they will be guarding but in their mind, they can be connected with armed robbers,” Nnenna sobbed.
She added, “It is only God that will deliver us from this country because look at my husband now, an innocent man, a man that doesn’t talk, a quiet man that has no problem with anybody who doesn’t even have a friend; all he was after was how he would succeed.”
On his part, the deceased’s son urged the government to recruit more personnel into the Anti-Kidnapping and Robbery units of respective security agencies.
“I didn’t expect my dad’s death because the way he died, he never deserved that. If only they shot him and leave him it will be better for me.
“But he was butchered as if he is being taken for a ritual after collecting everything they asked for, taking all the money at home alongside documents,” Uchenna said.
Meanwhile, a joint effort of local vigilantes and the police has resulted in the arrest of one of the suspects in the process of trying to dispose of the body.
According to a senior operative of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Nasarawa, Anuforo Cletus, some people were sighted moving a wheelbarrow at midnight.
“They (vigilantes) raised alarm to the police within the checkpoint and the police quickly moved in while in the process of hitting the spot, the other two people took off. He took off too but unluckily for him, he was arrested,” he explained.
Cletus added that the suspect, a retired army officer, has been detained at the Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department of the Police in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.
But the suspect insisted he wasn’t part of the abduction, stressing that he only helped the abductors dispose of the victim’s remains before he was apprehended.
“Having shot him (Nwachukwu), the man was now confused and that was where I came in,” he said.
The suspect narrated further, “It was foolish but he said I should assist him in pushing the corpse out of that farm otherwise, it will implicate him the more. So, I foolishly assisted them in pushing the body.”
On his part, the Commissioner of Police in Nasarawa, Bola Longe, gave assurance that more strategies would be introduced to ensure safety.
He said, “We are going to subject the criminal elements to a kind of disjointed strategy. We will bombard them from all angles with the support of the people.
“I want to assure all the members of the public that they should go about their lawful businesses because we will provide an unfettered condition that will enable them to actualise their dreams without criminal intimidation.”