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Gunmen Whisk Away APC Chairman, Lawyer, Medical Doctor, Others In Cross River Community


Jan 5, 2024

Unknown gunmen have reportedly whisked away more than fourteen persons, making their way to various towns in Cross River State for the just concluded Yuletide.

According to reports, part of those kidnapped is the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Ibom local government area of the state, Mr. Mathew Egomo, his son, Dickson, a 57-year-old medical doctor, Dr. Dan Okpe and his son Andrew Okpe, a 43-year-old lawyer, Albert Adeyemi Akpan, and others whose names are yet to be ascertained as at press time.

It was gathered that the people were kidnapped between December 20th and 31st, 2023, while travelling for the Christmas and New Year celebrations. The residents claimed that the kidnappers were herdsmen because they did not come with vehicles but suddenly emerged from the bush, shot at vehicles on sight, and dragged their victims into nearby forests.
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Multiple sources confirmed to newsmen that the hostages were taken away while the lawyer’s vehicle, a Blue Toyota Camry, was driven away, around Nde 3 Corners in the Ibom local government area of the state.

The said lawyer and medical doctor were kidnapped on Thursday December 28th, while the APC Chairman and his son were kidnapped on December 23, among other incidents that happened during the festive period despite the presence of several military and police checkpoints in the area.

A resident of the area who craved anonymity said the incident came three days after gunmen killed one Akpang Ayambem, kidnapped four, and wounded several others at the same spot on Christmas Day. One person was also reported to have been shot dead.

A member of the APC in Ibom local government, Mr. Owei Abang, who confirmed the development to the media, said the situation has been escalated to the state party chairman.
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Abang said while the kidnappers requested an N100 million ransome for Egomo and his son, threatening to kill the captives if the ransome is not paid immediately.

He added that the medical doctor’s wife, a pregnant woman, had fainted at the police station where the incident was reported.

Abang added that: “We have been contacted. They are asking for N100 million. We have sought help from our state chairman and His Excellency, Mr. Governor. I was also shocked when a woman said to the wife of the medical doctor, a heavily pregnant woman collapsing at the hearing of the ransome to be paid at the police station. The police are still investigating.”
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Also, a member of lawyer Albert Akpan’s family, Jude Jide Akpan, told journalists who visited the area said that the kidnappers demanded a ransome of N50 million from each of the abducted victims.

He said the victims were travelling for New Year celebrations.

“My brother, lawyer Albert Adeyemi Akpan, my sister Lisa Bassy, and some of the people in the vehicle were on their way to Calabar, his hometown, for New Year celebrations He decided to spend this year festive season with us in calabar because he has been living in Yorubaland as a legal consultant for the past 7 years, a town in oyo state, ibadan where our mother hails from.”

These abductions continued unabated despite the heavy presence of armed policemen along the road. The kidnappers even engaged the security agents in a gun battle at Nde 3- corners by Akparabong junction.
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We have reported the matter to the Cross River State Police Command, but they are yet to get back to us. Our prayer is that they all come back home save, sound and alive due to the short time given to raise the ransom.

Calls to the Public Relations Officer of the Cross River State Police Command were not returned as at the time of filing this report.

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