Thursday, 4 September 2014
How We Killed Ex- Gov. Sylva’s Uncle- Suspect
A suspect, simply identified as Nelson, who was arrested in connection with the kidnap in an interview shed light on the execution of the operation.
“On July 16, 2014, I was called by a friend, named Ebi, while in Warri. He said he had a contract in his local government since he knew me as a boat driver. On July 27, I came over and we proceeded to Yenagoa and from there to Nembe. Inside the boat, I saw two big bags and I asked him the content;
he said it was his working tools. While on the waterways, he was driving the boat but suddenly stopped and told me he was using me for a mission and that I should cooperate or else he would shoot me. I told him to drop me and he said there was no room for that and threatened to kill me.
“When we got to a certain community, he left a gunman with me while they went into the area. Some minutes later, I heard shouts and the gunman said I should start the boat’s engine. Then they brought in an old man into the boat and we zoomed off to an unknown location. We stayed there for a while and the following evening we left to another community where he bought food and returned to the place. It was then that Ebi seized my phone and told me to cooperate with him until we finished the job and I did.”
Nelson, who explained that the victim was sitting down when his health suddenly deteriorated, added that Ebi, the ring leader, was doing all the negotiation.
According to him, the victim’s death marked a turning point in the whole kidnap incident, as Ebi decided to go on to collect the ransom.
“After about 10 days there, he told me to follow him, as he wanted to make a call. He asked me if I could arrange someone, who could get him a Thuraya phone. I told him I knew someone at Robinson plaza, Warri, who could get him one. When I called, we arranged for him to get the Thuraya but he, Ebi, decided to arrange for another one. He was using my phone to make contacts and after a while, we relocated from where we were to a place opposite Kula community. We were there for two days and he was making a series of phone calls.
“One day, he told the old man that his family had refused to speak with him and had abandoned him. The man was confused but he was still able to talk. However, between August 14 and 15, he was sitting down after eating; then we heard shouts that the man was dying. Immediately we rushed there, the man was already dead.
“We told Ebi to take the corpse back to the family but he said he was afraid to do that. He said he would think of what to do. We told him to allow us go since the man was dead. In the evening, he told us that he had been able to negotiate something with the family and that we should wait. I told him that was not what we planned, as he told me he was taking me to drive people for a job and not this. He threatened he would kill any one who tried to leave.”
Continuing the narration Nelson said: “The next day, he said since he could not return the corpse to the family, he would bury it. There was an argument but he insisted that he would bury the corpse at a place in Kula. The next day he said he wanted to go and collect the money so as to flee the country. That very day, he got a boat and all of us drove to a location I don’t know. He left us and collected the money and in the evening between 7 and 8pm, he took us to another unknown place where he gave me N200, 000 and later N50, 000. He told me to go home, assuring he would handle the remaining issue. The following day, he dropped me in Port Harcourt from where I returned to Warri. I had wanted to contact my lawyer to report the incident but I was not able to do so before I was arrested.”
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Ahmed Bello, who confirmed the death of Chief Adigo and the arrest of the suspect, disclosed that the grave was discovered on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
“On the August 28, 2014, acting on a tip-off, a combined team of security agencies in Bayelsa State and officers of the Bayelsa Ministry of Health were led to a border town between Rivers and Bayelsa state near Kula village, where a shallow grave was discovered. “The body of the late Chief Adigo Eseni, aged 87 years, who was earlier kidnapped on July 28, 2014, by unknown gun men, was exhumed from the shallow grave under the supervision of a senior pathologist from the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health. The corpse was removed and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary, Yenagoa, for autopsy.”
Security operatives disclosed that six people participated in the kidnap operation but five of them are now at large.
It was learnt that the family is cooperating with security operatives, who have launched a manhunt for the negotiator, who allegedly collected the N5 million ransom and paid the kidnappers.