REVEALED: The Deal Mike Ozekhome Struck With His Abductors Before He Was Released
You will recall that Prominent lawyer and civil rights activist, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) was kidnapped at the Ehor stretch of the Benin-Auchi road in Edo state on August 23 and was reported to have been released after spending 20 days in the hands of his captives and of course ransome paid.
About 3 months after his release however, a revelation on what transpired before he was eventually set free by his abductors have surfaced.
Ozekhome had on September 12, while narrating the ordeal of his kidnap had told reporters that his son and the Head of his Chambers, Dominic Ezerioha were also kidnapped in their attempt to release him, but investigation by Abusidiqu revealed that this claim is not exactly correct as the kidnap of the son and head of his chambers were actually agreed to by the kidnappers and Ozekhome.
Abusidiqu gathered that the son and head of Ozekhome’s chamber had gone to secure the release of the civil right activists with an undisclosed amount of money to be paid as ransom, but was not accepted by the abductor because the amount fell short of their demand.
The two persons who had gone to secure Ozekhome’s release were said to have told the kidnappers that they couldn’t raise upto the required amount and that only their father could raise such.
Determined to live the den of the kidnappers alive, the erudite lawyer struck a deal with the kidnappers to allow him source for the fund while the son and head of chambers are kept in the kidnappers custody pending his return with ransom.
Although, the media was awash with the release of Mike Ozekhome on September 12, Abusidiqu gathered that he was actually released few days earlier to the announced date to enable him source for the ransom demanded by his abductor and to enable him secure the release of his son and head of chambers who replaced him in the kidnappers den while he went on a search for money.
Ozekhome’s release was kept a top secret within the media circle and amongst security agencies who were asked to maintain sealed lips so as not to jeorpadise the effort to secure the release of his son and head of chambers.
Exactly one week after he was released to search for ransom demanded of him, Ozekhome paid the ransom to the kidnappers, secured the release of the son and head of chambers before it was eventually officially announced to the media that he has been released.
Although Ozekhome has consistently maintained sealed lips on the amount of money paid as ransom, Abusidiqu gathered that the sum runs into millions of naira.
We also gathered that the friendly disposition of the abductors may have been responsible for Ozekhome’s call to the Federal Government to grant amnesty to the kidnappers.
Recall that Ozekhome while recounting his ordeal to news men upon his release, advocated for amnesty for kidnappers. Ozekhome described his abductors are “angry and desperate well read graduates” with network of cells across the country.
He said during his interaction with them, they told him they were pushed into kidnapping due to unemployment and poverty.
“As a matter of extreme urgency, I want the Federal Government to immediately gran to all kidnappers and institute an amnesty programme for all kidanappers, Ozekhome said.
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