The Akwa Ibom State police command has exhumed the body of a 36-year-old China-based businessman, Onyeka Oliver Ezewulu, who was abducted by kidnappers, killed, and buried in a shallow grave after collecting N2 million ransom from his family.
Operatives of the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) Special Tactical Squad of the command had stormed the kidnappers den in Mbiaso community, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of the state on March 29, 2021, and killed three of the hoodlums during a gun battle.
It was gathered that the deceased businessman was shot in the leg while attempting to flee when the heavily armed kidnappers laid ambush close to his house located along Idoro road, in Uyo, the state capital, on March 5.
The gang thereafter carried the bleeding victim into a white Toyota Camry car and drove off.
Further investigations by the police indicated that the victim was not given any medical attention and died as a result of the excessive loss of blood from the gunshot wound.
The kidnappers then buried his body in a shallow grave near a stream along old Mbiaso road.
After his death, the kidnappers demanded the N2 million ransom, which his family paid on March 10, without the knowledge that he had died.
The discovery was made after detailed investigation by the police team led by CSP Julian Igbodu.
A female suspect identified as Deborah Sunday, was arrested and assisted the police in locating the hideout.
The suspect told journalists that three members of her gang abducted Onyeka on March 5.
She explained that the victim was shot in his right leg when he attempted to run, adding that he was bundled into a car and taken to their hideout.
Sunday further confessed that she got her share of the N2 million ransom the gang collected from the family.
The suspect, however, claimed that the N150,000 promised her from the ransom is still with the ‘DPO’, believed to be the leader of the gang.
A brother to the deceased, Patrick, said Ezewulu was on a visit to his family in the state when he was attacked.
“Unknown to us, the hoodlums had already killed Onyeka before we paid them the N2m on March 10, 2021. That was why after the payment was made to them, we waited for days to see him regain his freedom, all to no avail. We didn’t know he actually died a day after he was kidnapped. That was four days before we paid the ransom,” he said.
The police team was accompanied by a pathologist from the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH).
The pathologist was said to have conducted on-site autopsy on the body before handing the remains to his family for burial.
Addressing newsmen at the scene, spokesperson of the command, Odiko MacDon, commended the state commissioner of police, Amiengheme Andrew, and the special tactical squad for the efforts that led to the success of the investigation.
He appealed to members of the public to provide the police with useful information about crime and criminals.
On the whereabouts of members of the deadly gang, MacDon explained that the kidnappers have resisted arrest, and engaged the police in a firefight before they succumbed to the superior firepower of the police.