RIVERS, Nigeria – Emenike Soronnadi, a kidnap victim, has recounted his ordeal in the hands of his abductors.
He appealed to Federal and State Governments to urgently address issues of insecurity to safeguard lives of citizens.
The husband and businessman was kidnapped on April 20, and held captive for 11 days before his release on May 10, 2020.
Emenike recounted his experience in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt.
The 50-year-old recalled that he was abducted from his wife’s shop in Woji, Obio/Akpor Local Government Council in Rivers State.
Three men with AK47 assault rifles and shooting sporadically into the air forcibly took him away.
He said: “I left my house around 5:40p.m to my wife’s shop in Woji town. At about 7:40p.m, three men stormed into the shop, shot into the air and whisked me away. The heavily armed kidnappers blindfolded and forcefully took me into their waiting car and drove away. They told me to cooperate with them otherwise they will shoot me.
“After about 30 minutes of driving, they transferred me into another waiting car. We later arrived to a community in Gokana council. There, I was kept in a house. Around midnight, they took me on a motorbike through a bush path to their camp. While still blindfolded, my abductors chained my legs and threatened to kill me,” he said.
The survivor said that his abductors later disclosed that they were paid by someone to assassinate him.
They then promised that they would not kill him on one condition that he pays them some millions of Naira as ransom.
Emenike said the kidnappers requested phone numbers of his wife and friends, promising that he would not be tortured if family and friends should cooperate with them.
“The house that I was kept in was so unhygienic that I lost appetite to eat. I only took water until days later when they gave me garri and salt to drink. Later, they also gave me rice and red oil to eat. I could not eat other compromising foods that they were eating in the camp.
“After few days, I started plotting my escape, but later jettisoned the idea. I think some villagers living around the camp knew about the place and somehow profited from it,” he added.
He said that on the day of his release, a member of the gang entered his cell around 7p.m, removed the bound on his legs and ordered him to put on his clothes.
“Thereafter, the kidnapper asked me to pray for him. He took me to a motor park in Bori town in Gokana; gave me back one of my phones and left. Unfortunately, I could not find any vehicle at the motor park going to Port Harcourt due to the lockdown and restriction of movements in the city.
“So, I called my wife, who immediately contacted my sister-in-law, a navy officer. My wife’s sister later picked me up and we arrived home around 11p.m. I am so grateful to God, my wife, my pastor, Chibuzor Chinyere of Omega Power Ministries and some friends for putting pressure on security agencies to secure my release from the kidnappers’ den,” he said.
Emenike wondered why he had remained a target by criminals as 15 men broke into his house in 2013, tortured, shot him and his wife on their legs.
He advised the government to do more on security, adding that his abduction was reported to the police but that he has not been invited to narrate the encounter.
Spokesman of the Police Command in Rivers, DSP Nnamdi Omonim, said no arrest had been made.
He confirmed that the police had launched an investigation and are on the trail of the culprits