Okonjo-Iweala’s mum: 3 more suspects arrested as family resorts to fasting, prayers

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From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba

The royal family of Obi (Prof.) Chukwuka Okonjo may have resorted to fasting and prayers as the security operatives intensified search for the kidnapped Queen Mother of Ogwashi-Uku kingdom, Prof. (Mrs.) Kamene Okonjo, even as the security agencies were said to have arrested three more suspects.

The 82-year-old mother of Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was forced into a waiting Golf car by about 10 gunmen at the gate of the palace of her husband, the Obi of Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State last Sunday when a suspect was apprehended. A family source who does not want to be named, informed that “we, the royal family members of Okonjo and other members of the community now engage in marathon prayer session on a daily basis at the Ogwashi –Uku palace ground and in some churches in the community to offer prayers to seek divine intervention for mama’s release.”

According to the source, “we have since put our differences aside to seek the face of God to touch the hearts of the people that took away Mama so that they can let her come back home, we are too frightened about her health condition and we do not know what is happening to her now, so it’s only God that can help us right now.” Her son, Prince Onyema Okonjo, debunked reports that the kidnappers have contacted the family and were demanding $1 billion ransom to free his mother.

He, however, wondered why the hoodlums have kept the octogenarian professor of sociology incommunicado since she was abducted from the palace last Sunday. “We do not have any further information at this time, I do not know where people got the story that the kidnappers are asking for $1billion ransom, that is certainly not true, as soon as we get any information, we get you informed, but we have not heard anything from them so far, it’s all rubbish and rumour that they are asking $1 billion,” Prince Okonjo said.

Meanwhile, residents are now living in absolute fear following last Sunday’s abduction of the Queen Mother. Apart from the manner she was whisked away by the dare-devil kidnappers, residents are now also apprehensive about attending to social activities because of the heavy presence of security operatives. “The situation here remains the same, everywhere is calm, security people are everywhere and one has to restrict his movement for now to avoid being used as scape-goat by these security people because for them, everyone is a suspect,” a resident said.

The state Police Commissioner, Ikechukwu Aduba did not confirm the number of persons arrested, a source said two policemen, one of them attached to the palace and two domestic staff were in custody. Aduba stressed that the command could invite as many people as possible for questioning in relation to the abduction. However, fierce-looking security operatives have continued to lay siege on Ogwashi-Uku kingdom where the Queen Mother was kidnapped. Aduba also stressed that his command was “not aware of any ransom and we will never support the payment of ransom.

“For those who believe in the force, we have always rescued their victims unhurt without the payment of ransom. A case in point is the son of the SSG who was rescued without ransom and several other cases. “I am very positive that mama will be rescued. People have to co-operate with our men who are already everywhere. Our men have been placed on red alert and we are on top of the situation. We have spread out our dragnets to track down the hoodlums”, he said. Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Victor Ochei, has condemned the abduction.

Ochei said that adequate security had been put in place to effect the unconditional release of the octogenarian, expressing confidence that the hoodlums would not escape justice as the law will catch up with them. He said the House recently passed the anti-kidnapping and anti-terrorism bill which spelt out death penalty for perpetrators as one of the measures to reduce crime in the state, adding that law would soon catch up with the bandits.

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49 Comments

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  2. Nda Remi Obijur on

    What on earth do they want from an old woman, whose health must have become fragile. Let her come back home alive o.

    • Your question sure short of any level of intelligent. If this will help you, they are using the woman as a pond to collect money. You got that.

  3. This crime looks to me like an act of sophiscated operatives. I believe that the crusade of the finance
    minister to sanitise the oil sector may be the reason.
    We are going from fry pan to fire .May God please
    rescue the lady from the hands of evil people.

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    • We will continue to pray and wait for GOD to intervene. Maybe some call Allah or Jehovah, let us all refuse to eat or drink water until God comes and deliver Nigeria from the evil called Politicians and bad leaders. Actually, maybe eat something like we already get daily, very small. Nigeria is like all the other black countries cursed to suffer and remain backward. The Iyase of Ogwuashi Iku, but Iyase sounds like EDO title, yet the head chief of the village is called Obi as in Igbo? Quite confusing, but the one thing I know is that the kidnappers are having a field day in Southern Nigeria while Boko Haram lets loose bombs in the North. Is it not time to recall JANATAN? I don’t want to say Jonah or he could doze off again, just as we have him opening one eye.

  5. i felt for the queen, i pray she return home safely and healthy. They say he who wear shoe know’s where it itchs. Those guys in gov’t shld cordinate well.

  6. If this kidnap is due to the sanitization of the oil sector, who says this government is not fighting corruption . When operatives of NAFDAC closed in on fake drug dealers, the kidnappers went for Madam Akunyili’s brother. The Police swung into action and rescued the brother. Those involved became known and the rest is history. It is going to be the same here. Members of ACN, other critics will not notice this. Fighting corruption, in a democratic setting is not similar to what happens in a military government where an order to arrest can be given by mere suspicion. The suspect is immediately detained for months while investigations are being carried out. Nigerians are so used to this method and anything short of that is unacceptable but we are in a democratic setting. You cannot detain more than 24 hrs without going to court. Therefore you have to put your evidence together before you arrest and prosecute. We ave not got used to where things are done appropriately.

    • Good thought, but the point is; as the saying goes “If the owner fail to catch thieve, thieve will catch him/her”. The rouges in our society are becoming stronger and bolder by the day. The line between regular criminals and the informer ones in govt. is getting blurred by the day.
      It’s amazing how the govt. came about the list of fraudulent oil marketer’s and yet none is spending holidays in KIRIKIRI! Could all these be just a matter of conflicting interests among pals? And the only real victim is the Orphan-Nigeria.
      Second point: Its time govt. consider as a matter of urgency to provide security for families of sensitive personalities in government, especially those on the firing line with the criminals.
      In any case, while I’m appalled by this incidence, I hope the elder lady will be safely rescued and those criminals made to face the music…
      ..else we keep moving in same vicious circle.

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  8. May the lord ve mercy on dis generation. Now people commit abomidable iniquity, they is no fear of God in them. They say ‘there is no God’. Fellow Nigerians do nt be deceive, there is God.

  9. Have you seen what selfishness can cause? If the living conditions of every one in Nigeria is okay; every one has food to eat, shelter on his head and other good things of life, would these people think of committing this and other crimes? I just pray that this innocent old woman will not pay the ultimate price for the sins of our selfish and wicked leaders. This is a lesson to all, particularly our leaders; whenever you find yourself in a position of trust, use it for the benefit of your people.

  10. Engr. Olatunji Samuel on

    If it were the mother of an ordinary Nigerian that was kidnapped, The Government will not intervene. There are so many Nigerians that have been kidnapped and ransom were paid to the criminals, Government will look the other way. It is even good that this insecurity that we are shouting about has started affecting those big men and women in Jonathan’s Government. One day, the criminals shall go further to kidnap Jonathan’s or Sambo’s relations and demand for 1 Billion Naira, then, they will understand what Nigerians are going through in respect of insecurity in Nigeria. Most Nigerians in Government do not understand what other fellow Nigerians are going through. 70% of Nigerians are wallowing in serious poverty and can not feed 3 times a day. The children of the poor can never be patient like their parents, hence, they go into kidnapping, robbery and all sorts of vices to be rich too. That is the consequence of an oil country that does not care about the poor citizens. Many young graduates completed school without any job available for them. Those at the helms of affairs in Nigeria should go and learn about Venezuela, an oil country that cares very much about the condition of the poor and less priviledged.

  11. Every body here is talking about how old she is ..does her age exempt her from corruption? How old are the bastard politicians , she is part of the system and she is caught in the web of the mess her daughter and the rest politicians created.. The kidnappers are the hoodlums now?, while the evil politician are angels.. I feel sorry for this country.. Which is more serious , the kidnapping of the old woman or the kidnapping of the entire nation by the bastard politicians who have kidnapped all our God given freedom and life

  12. This is a boko-haramic act. What has the old woman to do with your politics. Her types were the true Nigerians that served with all strength. That depended the unity of Nigeria. That uphold Nigeria’s honour and glory.

    Please release the old woman.

  13. THEY FLY AND FLY PRIVATE JETS BUT LIVE ON LAND. PERHAPS THEY SHOULD ALL BUY UP SPACE IN SPACE AND BUILD THEIR HOMES, THEY AND THEIR FAMILIES AND EXTENDED FAMILIES. KIDNAPPING IS NOW AN INDUSTRY OF SORTS, AND KIDNAPPERS ARE INVESTING HEAVILY IN EVERYDAY BUSINESSES WITHOUT ANYONE SUSPECTING THEIR SOURCES OF INCOME. ONE WAY OUT OF ALL OF THIS IS FOR A SYSTEM THAT TRACKS HOW PEOPLE SPEND MONEY IN THIS COUNTRY. THE CASHLESS THING SHOULD BE THOUGHT OUT AND IMPLEMENTED CAREFULLY AND WE WOULD BE ABLE TO TRACK AND TRACE PEOPLE WHO SPEND ANYHOW AND UNDERSTAND THEIR CASH FLOW PATTERN. OFF COURSE THE POLITICIANS WILL KILL THIS IDEA EVEN BEFORE ANY THOUGHT IS GIVEN TO IT. TALK ABOUT ELECTION TIMES, ETC.

  14. the goverrnment of nigeria need to go back to a drawing board in other to tackle the difference between the rich and the poor in nigeria or else many things woul continue to happen.mama sori for suffering what u didt cause,GOD will intervene your case

  15. The arrests by the police have no meaning as the situation stands presently. The Okonjo family should immediately start looking for ways to bring the old woman back home by establishing contacts and negotiating with these criminals. Use of force to rescue the woman from the criminals obviously poses danger to her life because of the fact that these miscreants have no value for life and might easily blow themselves and the woman up if any attempt is made by security agents to rescue the woman with force. The Okonjo family should therefore part with some money as demanded by the kidnappers since this is the only condition for the old woman to regain freedom. The Okonjo family should act fast in view of the state of the woman age and health. I wish her safe return.

  16. Alhaji Dan-azumi Gana on

    O you kidnappers, release our mama for us. Mama has done nothing wrong to warrant her kidnap. If it is easy for you kidnappers, you should be kidnapping prominent people in government and not innocent mama. God would expose your hide out and you would all be arrested to face the law of our land, nincompoops.

  17. I wonder which kind of security we have in this country! This woman was abducted and you are deploying armed security men to her home town? FOR WHAT? Do you think the abductors are fools that they will hide at the backyard? Pls do something better to convince Nigerians that you are ready to deliver on your responsibility of securing lives.

  18. The part I like best is He said ‘the House recently passed the anti-kidnapping and anti-terrorism bill which spelt out death penalty for perpetrators as one of the measures to reduce crime in the state, adding that law would soon catch up with the bandits’.
    Fine but something more needs to be done immediately.
    Anti-money laundry and and anti-looting of Govt. Treasury Bills with same penalty as with Kidnapping cases, that way we will have less problems to worry about.

  19. POOR NIGERIA the entire Nigerian treasury had been looted by so called leaders. THIS IS NOT DEMOCRACY . this is black men and women abusing their own people.There is not a single drop of oil in Lagos state , BUT Alakija owns oil wells in the Eastern Nigeria given to her by IBB WHAT DID IBB suck on juju pussy?

    Why would sun Newspapers and other Journalists not investigate Foloronshun Alakija who is now declared THE RICHEST BLACK WOMAN ON EARTH . How did IBB end up giving Nigerian oil wells OUR NATIONAL WEALTH to her . jUJU PUSSY. IBB approved . There is no country in the face of the Earth where a girl would end up with the National wealth and every one including corrupt judges prevent Lawmakers to go near. It is evil while 90% of Nigerians CONTINUE IN POVERTY.

    Alison Maduekwe the current Petroleum Minister have shady , shadow figures runing oil business for her LOOTING NIGERIA. her own jewellers in USA MINISTER APPROVED OIL LOTS . WE NIGERIANS ARE BLINDFOLDED PEOPLE . The insecurity and illgotten goods and wealth is coming home to roast. THERE ARE NO NICE HOUSES IN BAD NEIGHBORHOODS.

  20. @wesley ishiaku where in d world u see everybody’s living condition are dsame, in china there is paupa,u.s have beggers, libya dat hve better living condition say dey d’nt need khadafi again, nw wat is thier end, there is no life condition dat permit one to comit evil.

  21. THOSE IN POWER SHOULD FEEL THE PAINS TOO. EDRIS BEEN SING AM NIGERIA JAGA JAGA.
    MAKE THEM KIDNAPP FROM GEJ MAMA TO ALL GOVERNORS, FEDERAL LAW MAKERS AND EVEN SOME DGs AND ACCTANTS OF VARIOUS SECTORS.
    NONSENSE LEADERS, LEADERS OF DOOM. IF BOKO HARAM WILL LEARN TO BE POLITICAL AND NOT RELIGIOUS SOME OF US WILL GIVE THEM SUPPORT.

  22. pls madam okonjo iweala go to tb joshua’s church and your mother will come out free and they will be exposed.dont waste time,dont think of what people will say,go to synagogue church of all nations pls and save your mum’s life

  23. onyia emmanuel on

    God pls dont allow anything to hapen to MAMA.i will pray 1Decade of Holy Rosary for her release.Our Blessed Mother Mary will help in dis situation…AMEN

  24. Wow wat a strange story bt we cnt blame d kidnapper anyway becos some of them are graduates without no available work 4 them to do bt i dnt anyway in support of d kidnappin of an old innocent woman who has done nothing wrong bt d issue is dat it has hapn nobdy knws hw she is fellin right nw where she dey bt d only alternative is to associated with d evil kidnapper to sort tinz our about her relising becos of her healthy i wish her safe return

  25. In as such that their action is/are aganist the law and humanity, it is not different from what our leaders are doing.

    Our leaders are supposed to provide secuity for every Nigerians.

    All of them (our leaders ) are responsible for this mess with the those are responsible for this crime.

  26. Maybe why they kidnapped her is because of they are rich,let them pay the money and free her from the kidnappers or they might kill her after you have paid the money.you know the kind of heart kidnappers have.

  27. so,can the over-rated minister of finance resort to prayers?who told her that her prayers whould go over her roof! anyway ,we are not God.but she and her boss should remember that “God no the sleep” and the “poor masses no go sleep too with serious prayers for them”

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