Arthur Madumere, Owerri
A lecturer at the Imo State University, Owerri, Emma Ogueri, who was kidnapped by gunmen on Friday, has regained his freedom.
Ogueri, a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences, was kidnapped from a pharmacy opposite the All Seasons Hotel, New Owerri.
He was said to be with his friends at a nearby pub and had gone to the pharmacy to buy some drugs when he was abducted.
Eyewitnesses had told our correspondent that the kidnappers operated in police uniform.
Our correspondent gathered that the lecturer, who hails from the Isiala Mbano Local Government Area of the state, was released on Monday after his family and friends had allegedly paid an undisclosed sum as ransom.
The source said the police trailed the kidnappers to the Awara-Omoku forest following a tip-off.
It was the same hideout that the Auxiliary Bishop of the Owerri Catholic Archdiocese, Moses Chikwe, was taken to when he was kidnapped in December.
It was gathered that the kidnappers relocated with the lecturer when they sensed the presence of policemen in the creek.
The presence of the policemen was said to have fast-tracked the release of the lecturer as the kidnappers quickly concluded negotiations with his family and friends.
“The abductors were demanding N3m ransom, but the presence of policemen in the creek forced the kidnappers to relocate with the lecturer to another hideout and they quickly concluded negotiations for him,” the source stated.
When contacted, the police spokesperson in the state, Orlando Ikeokwu, a superintendent of police (SP), confirmed the release of the lecturer.