A Port Harcourt-based business woman, Mrs. Tina Bobmanuel, who resides in Woji area of the Rivers State capital, is still being held by unknown gunmen who abducted her, even after her family had paid a ransom of N5.3million.
One of Bobmanuel’s employee, who had volunteered to hand over part of the money demanded by the kidnappers at a specified location, was also abducted and detained by the hoodlums.
Mrs. Bobmanuel, 58 was kidnapped at her shop in Nvuigwe, Woji, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State on Wednesday, November 22.
A son of the victim, Charles Felix, who disclosed this to our reporter in Port Harcourt Sunday, said the gunmen had contacted the family four days after the incident and demanded for N100million.
Felix explained that four men, including two wearing police uniforms and armed with AK-47 rifles, while the two others in plain cloth stormed his mother’s shop in a White Honda Pilot vehicle about 1:30pm on the fateful day.
He said Mrs. Bobmanuel’s husband (his step father) is the Managing Director of an unnamed Oil Servicing Company based in Port Harcourt.
Felix further said that eye witnesses told him that one of the criminals, posing as a policeman had walked up to Mrs. Bobmanuel, and told her she was under arrest, even as she expressed surprise at the development.
Sensing danger, he stated that a security man attached to the shopping mall accosted the hoodlums and demanded the name of the police station the business woman was being taken to, but was given the beating of his life, even as the second armed man shouted at their victim, ‘Where is the big money’? ‘Where is the big money’?
But after Mrs. Bobmanuel retorted, ‘there is no money’, the gunman ransacked her shop and reportedly carted away some merchandise, including bags, wrappers, phones and two decoders.
‘One of the gunmen hit the security man on his head, raining insults on him. People shouted but he (the criminal) did not stop. The security man fell to the ground. He (the gunman) collected wrappers, handbags, phones and searchlight decoders’, the eye witness explained.
Without firing a single shot, the fake policemen grabbed the business woman and her aged mother who usually comes to the shop to assist her daughter, but seeing that the latter looked frail, they let go of her before forcing Mrs. Bobmanuel into the waiting vehicle and whisked her off to an unknown destination.
According to Felix, ‘they (the criminals) contacted us (family) four days after and demanded for N100 million. We told them we don’t have that kind of money. Few days later they reduced it to N50 million.
“Few days later, they called and said they have reduced it to N15 million,, urging us to be quick before they change their mind. Now they have also kidnapped my father’s staff who went to pay the ransom,” he said.
He added, on December 1, 2017, my father’s staff was sent to give them (the kidnappers) one million Naira and additional one thousand dollars.
“When they called again on December 14 and insisted on the N15million, we pleaded that there is no money and that we could only raise additional N4million. They agreed to collect it and my father sent his staff, one Mr. Samuel, the same person that delivered that first amount.
” So, they told us where to drop the money. But when Samuel went, they collected the N4 million. Since then we have not heard from him. His two phones have been switched off,” saying; “We believed they have also kidnapped him.
He pleaded with the kidnappers to release her unhurt, as the entire family is worried about Mrs. Bobmanuel’s state of health.
Mr. Felix further said that Mr. Samuel’s wife and relatives had reported that her husband was missing to the company, even as he said the incident had been reported to the Woji Estate Police Station as well as the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Police in Woji, both in Obio/Akpor local government area.
Officers at the different police units told our correspondent that they were investigating the incidents.
Amaka Agbu, Port Harcourt