By Dr Innocent Chidumebi Okonkwo.
Nnamdi Ozoemena nightmare began on 4th November 2023 when he was returning to Onitsha from Aguleri.
He branched off at highway filling station in toll gate Onitsha to buy fuel, and a white Mercedes Benz GLK double crossed him and forced him into the back seat of his car. There were 5 armed men, equipped with sophisticated AK-47 raffles, they dressed in police official jackets.
He said when the armed men discovered there was no fuel in his 330 Lexus SUV, they commanded the fuel attendants to fill up the tank and in the process, another RX 330 also drove in to buy fuel and they also commanded the driver to join him in his own car while they abandoned the Mercedes GLK that conveyed them at the filling station.
“They blindfolded two of us and commanded us to face down and zoomed off. They drove us from the Toll gate junction down to Umunze in Orumba. About 3 hours journey”
“No police stopped them in the 3 hours journey, although we were blindfolded. I couldn’t tell if they drove through security checkpoints”
“They told us that we were at the headquarters of ESN in Umunze”.
“My family said that even when they reported to Police, they tracked my vehicle and a moment it read Umunze, the police said, it’s a no go area ooo na headquarters of ESN”
“They demanded for 10 drums of bullets from us. Which they said the cost was 1,650,00 each. Total of 16.5m or 4 Ak47
“When they saw over N4.5m in my bank accounts. They reduced their punishment and began to withdraw the money with POS machine”
“They demanded for more money and my family transferred an extra N1.8 M making it a total amount of over N6.3m”.
“They are fully in charge of the whole Umunze community. People come to the bush to lodge complains and they settle cases. No body dares invite police to the community. Infact we were there when a palm wine tapper passed and they exchanged pleasantries. The palm wine tapper even asked about their commander.
“When they were releasing us, they seized my mobile phones and my car and told me that I should write my phone number on the car carpet, that they will later dump it somewhere the way they dumped the GLK.
“They said that the phone number I wrote on the car mat will be used to contact me by people wherever they dump the car and I obeyed them”
“When they were leading us to the main road after our release, they showed us some burnt vehicles and said they snatched them from military and police”
“We were only two victims in the camp. Their boss usually come to the camp with bike. He doesn’t stay too long with them. Even the villagers respect him”
Nnamdi was freed 4days later after being kept inside a bush between Umunze and Imo state at an informal settlement of N6.3m.
He thanked those who helped to raise money for his freedom.