6 Suspects Arrested For President Jonathan's Cousin Kidnapping

Six suspects have been arrested in connection with the kidnap of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin Inengite Nitabai.

Nitabai was kidnapped by 10 gunmen on February 23 at his home in Otuoke, Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

The man was driven out of his compound in his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) by the bandits, who also harassed his in-law and collected N400,000 from his wife.

Commissioner of Police, Hilary Opara, confirmed that six persons had been arrested in connection with the incident.

Speaking about the victim’s death rumours Opara said, "All l can tell you is that we are working very hard to ensure that the victim is released unhurt. We are sure that we can free him."

Nitabai's kidnappers had initially demanded N500m ransom but rejected N30million offered them by the family members.

They described the offer as “too small” for the family with ties to the President and demanded more money.

Rescue operation

The kidnappers had promised to release Nitabai on Sunday (9 March) at Akemplai village in Ogbia.

Family members were said to have gathered at a location in the village but they waited in vain as abducters failed to appear.

A family member, who was at the location from 9pm to 1am, said the kidnappers deluded them.

We learnt that he was going to be released at Akemplai village in Ogbia. We went there and waited for hours.

We neither saw the kidnappers nor their victim. We came back home disappointed and worried,” the source said.

As it became known the security agencies surrounded the village and the waterside with their gunboats as they waited for Nitabai.

Troops from the Joint Task Force (JTF), police anti-kidnap squad and the Department of State Security (DSS) have set up an ambush in the area.

The operation was terminated and troops were withdrawn at 5am on Monday with no result.

Suspected Ring Leader Arrested

Later the police stormed Odioma in Brass local government area and arrested the father of the suspected ring leader of the gang.

Also a special squad was sent to an undisclosed location outside the state in search of Nitabai.

The President visited Otuoke, his hometown, in Ogbia Local Government Area, last Friday.

He attended the funeral of the late father of his aide, Mr. Patrick Oba, who hails from his hometown.

The President was briefed by heads of security agencies and his family members of their efforts to free Nitabai.

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