Mrs Constance Ziagadina, a businesswoman, has talked about her experince being kidnapped.
The woman, who was rescued from kidnappers by vigilantes in Igbogoro community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, said on Friday that she was nearly killed by her abductors before help arrived.
She said one of the kidnappers almost killed her but that his colleague cautioned him that the person who sent them needed her alive.
She spoke to journalists after the vigilantes allegedly killed two of the kidnappers on Thursday night.
It was learnt that the kidnappers, numbering four, had attempted to abduct a businesswoman, but their luck ran out when the vigilante group was alerted. The group, called Akpor OSPAC, was said to have responded promptly to the distress call made to them. Our correspondent learnt that as the kidnappers sighted them they tried to flee but their car suddenly developed fault.
The hoodlums swiftly opened fire on the vigilantes, who eventually subdued them, killing two in the process. They however arrested one, while one escaped.
Narrating her ordeal to journalists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the businesswoman said she was about to close for the day when she suddenly heard gunshots.
She stated, “I was in my shop around 7pm and decided to close for the day. Not quite long after, I heard a sound behind me. Immediately I turned, I saw two men armed with guns. They were masked.
“They said to me, enter the car. I sat on the floor immediately out of fear. They started beating and hitting me. We were there for almost 20 minutes until I heard a voice; somebody from afar shouting ‘Asawana-Asawana’ (a popular shout of solidarity among Ijaw youths).
“One of them was about shooting me, but the other one in the car said to him, ‘don’t shoot her, master said we should bring her alive.’ Immediately they heard that voice, the one in the car said they were coming and they should all leave. So, he left me, because I was still on the floor. That was it.”
Her husband, Andy, also spoke on how they contacted the local security outfit as the kidnappers were fleeing the scene.
He stated, “They beat my wife and tried to drag her into their vehicle but she refused. They continued to drag her until they were tired. The gunshot created awareness. Luckily, their vehicle developed a fault, just 200 meters away from the scene.
“They were pushing the car, and that gave us ample time to make calls. That was how the OSPAC gunned down two of them by the special grace of God. One was arrested and one escaped. I must use this opportunity to appreciate them. OSPAC tried so much.”
Confirming the incident, the vice chairman of OSPAC in the LGA, Amadi David, said some items belonging to the kidnappers were recovered.
He stated, “When we got the distress call, we blocked all the exit routes. On their way trying to escape from the Ogbogoro angle, our unit there intercepted them. We recovered their vehicle and arms and in the course of trying to exchange gunfire, two of them were fatally wounded. We arrested one alive, the other one escaped. We handed over G3 rifle and the ones that were fatally wounded to the Ozuoba Police Division.
The spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, could not be reached as her mobile phone did not connect. She had yet to reply to a text message sent to her as of press time.
Meanwhile, a Magistrate’s Court in Port Harcourt has remanded one David Alonge at the Port Harcourt Correctional Centre for allegedly defiling a three-year-old female pupil.
Alonge, a teacher at a private school in Rumuodumaya in Obio Akpor Local Government Area, was arraigned for allegedly defiling the pupil.
The suspect did not take a plea on arraignment as the charge was not read to him following a legal advice from the office of the Attorney-General of the state that such offence should be tried under Section 32(2) of the Child Rights Law of Rivers State.
He was arraigned for allegedly defiling a pupil of the school by inserting his finger and his manhood into her private parts, thereby committing an offence punishable under section 33(1) of the Rivers State Child’s Right Law Number 6 of 2022.
Chief Magistrate Ogeh Elkanah directed that the accused be remanded at the correctional centre in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
She thereafter adjourned the case to September 6 for proper arraignment of the suspect at the State High Court.