Sunday, August 22, 2021 11:35 pm
By Nathan Nwakamma
Kombowei Benson, secretary to Bayelsa state government has revealed that he paid a “token gift of N4 million and two android phones” to free Betinah, his 80-year-old mother from the custody of kidnappers
Madam Benson was abducted on July 20 from her Ekeki residence in Yenagoa and was released after 32 days in captivity.
Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, Mr Echeng Echeng handed over the octogenarian to his family members at the residence of the SSG.
Speaking on whether ransom was paid to secure her release, the SSG described the payment as a token gift to the kidnappers and maintained that it was not ransom as the kidnappers had earlier demanded for N500 million.
He that despite the fact that five members of the family have been victims of kidnapping in the state, he vowed never to pay ransom and trusted in the security agencies and God to secure the release of his mother.
“Mama is back to the House and I want to give thanks to God and the security team in the state.
“I am so happy that my mother is back. Even if I tell people that ransom was not paid, they will not believe me.
“When they demanded for N500 million, I stood my ground. Even when I say I will not pay, I gave them a token to allow Mama return home, ” Benson said.
However, the Commissioner of Police claimed that the pressure from the police led to her release.
”Our message to those involved in such heinous act is that it is a crime and no matter how involved you are, you will be arrested,” Echeng said.
The octogenarian was in a jubilant mood when she was handed over to her son on Sunday evening in the presence of relatives and security operatives.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that three suspects were arrested in connection with the abduction.