CROSS RIVER, Nigeria – A Professor of Fine Arts based in United States of America has been kidnapped in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Ukpong was kidnapped in his family compound at No 9 Mbukpa Street on Thursday night when he came back from an outing.
An eyewitness who declined giving his names said “The man went out and came back around 10pm. He parked his car in the garage, stepped out to lock his gate when some men, heavily armed stepped out of their car and took him away to unknown destination.
“The incident happened in a commando style by 10pm on Thursday. There was a car parked in front of the compound for over two hours with men and a lady making desperate calls. None of us knew why the car was there until the incident occurred.”
When contacted, a senior member of the family, Engineer Edet Ukpong, confirmed the kidnap of his brother. He told our correspondent on Saturday at the family compound that he was not in the house when the incident occurred,
“I was not in the house when the incident occurred. In fact, I was in the Church when my brother called to inform me that Prof has been kidnapped. I came back and discovered that the compound was deserted. I was saddened.
“This morning (Saturday) the house boy of the Prof brought me the Prof’s phone that he picked it on Friday outside the house after the kidnap on Thursday.
“We wondered how the phone was found when Police had searched everywhere and saw no other thing apart from the undispensed bullet found on the ground.
“He said the house boy always came in whenever the victim comes back from abroad to assist him in doing house chores.
“He always leaves before night but on Thursday, I was told that he was seen around the compound until 10pm when the victim was kidnapped. The kidnappers have not communicated with the family since they could not lay hands on the phone of the victim,” he said.
The Engineer explained that a lady who always goes out with the victim was seen late Thursday night, as she claimed that she went out with the victim.
Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Ms Irene Ugbo on Saturday were not possible as her mobile line was off.