Nigeria: Gunmen Release Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Nigerian University

The deputy vice-chancellor was abducted on 26 January from a petrol station where he drove in to refuel his car.

Gunmen have released the deputy vice-chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu, after 11 days in captivity.

The victim, Godwin Emezue, was abducted on 26 January from a petrol station at Umuekwule, Amachara, a community in Umuahia South Local Government Area of Abia State, South-east Nigeria.

Mr Emelue, a professor, was said to have driven into the station alongside his wife to refuel their vehicle when the gunmen attacked them.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the hoodlums, numbering about three, dragged the professor into their waiting Lexus SUV, collected his wife’s ATM card and zoomed off.

Release

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Mr Emelue was released on Tuesday night after payment of N25 million as ransom to the hoodlums.

A lecturer at the university, who asked not to be named, told this newspaper that the university management announced the release of the deputy vice-chancellor in the institution’s staff WhatsApp platform on Wednesday morning.

The lecturer, however, said the information about the payment of ransom was not given.

When contacted on Wednesday morning, the spokesperson of the university, Chijioke Nwogu, confirmed the development to PREMIUM TIMES.

“You know issues of security; we leave it to security people. But we know that he (Emezue) has been released,” he said.

Mr Nwogu, however, said he has no details of the deputy vice-chancellor’s release and asked our reporter to get the details from the police in the state.

He also could not say if the N25 million ransom was paid ransom.

The police spokesperson in the state, Maureen Chinaka, did not respond to calls and a text message seeking her comments.

Abduction for ransom

Abduction for ransom has increased in Abia State in recent times

Several persons have been kidnapped in the state lately.

Last year, a Chinese national was abducted in Lokpanta, a community in Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.

The Chinese, Li Peiyin, was rescued some days later.

Gunmen, in August 2022, abducted a Catholic priest and a seminarian along Okigwe-Umunneochi Road, a boundary between Imo and Abia States.

The victims were released two days later after reportedly paying a ransom to the kidnappers.

Barely 24 hours before the attack on the clerics, gunmen abducted a police officer at Mbala Divisional Police Headquarters in Isuochi Community, Umunneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.

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