Abductors Of Rhodes-Vivour Family Demand N300m
...Police, vigilance group comb Edo
KIDNAPPERS who last Friday abducted the wife, daughter and driver of a Supreme Court Justice, Bode Rhodes-Vivour, have established contact with the family.
The Guardian learnt that the abductors have demanded a ransom of N300 million from the family of Rhodes-Vivour before they could release their victims.
The victims were said to be travelling to Edo State ahead of the justice’s daughter’s wedding when they were accosted by unknown gunmen along Benin-Sagamu Expressway and taken to an unknown location.
Meanwhile, operatives of the Nigeria Police led by the Commissioner of Police, Folusho Adebanjo and members of the vigilance groups in villages around Ovia North-East Local Council have relocated to the Ekiadolor/Ugbogui forest, the possible zone where suspected kidnappers may be keeping Mrs. Rhodes-Vivour and her daughter.
The Guardian gathered that the police boss in Edo State has been under pressure from Police Headquarters to locate the victims and rescue them alive. Also, hunters in the villages, who are believed to be very familiar with the terrain, have reportedly joined in the search, including the state’s Neighbourhood Watch.
When The Guardian visited the Neighbourhood Watch office yesterday, the head of the group, Maj.-Gen. Charles Omoregie (rtd), was said to be in a meeting with the Commissioner of Police apparently on the matter.
The leader of the hunters in Ekiadolor, identified as High Priest Nasogiarhu Edema, said they have resolved to take their destiny in their hands in making the Ekiadolor/ Ugbogui axis of the Benin-Lagos uncomfortable for kidnappers and criminals alike.
Several lawyers had appealed to the abductors to release their captives unhurt. One of the lawyers, a senior advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mike Ozekhome, said the Justice is a judicial officer and not a business person and wondered where they expect him to get ransom money from.
“Justice Rhodes-Vivour, a well-acclaimed jurist, is merely a judicial officer, not an entrepreneur. His wife is a legal practitioner, not a businesswoman. Only on September 13, 2012 his son, Rotimi, was also abducted with a N30 million ransom demand. Why is this madness targeted at a peace-loving and hardworking jurist who had served Nigeria meritoriously?
“Is this persecution by faceless merchants and buccaneers masterminded by politicians who have vowed to make Nigeria ungovernable? Or is it by mere kidnappers for the sake of ransom money alone? If so, where do they expect a serving justice of the apex court to cough out ransom money? Whatever angle we view it from, the fact remains that Nigeria is fast descending into the abyss of systemic annihilation. It is more and more adorning the toga of one of the most insecure places on planet earth. We are becoming the laughing stock of the international community. For God’s sake, kidnappers, or whoever you are, release immediately and unhurt Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour’s lovely wife, daughter and driver. I plead with you in the name of God. Don’t discourage patriotic Nigerians from giving all to their fatherland”, he pleaded.
Similarly, Festus Keyamo appealed to them to release their victim unhurt. He said: “The kidnappers should know that Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour is the wrong target of this dastardly act. He does not deserve this agony. Again, the Justices of the Supreme Court have not contributed in any way to the destruction of our values that has pushed young men and women into this kind of unholy enterprise. Rather, they have indeed played a constructive role in preserving and sustaining our democracy.
Therefore, I passionately appeal to the kidnappers, wherever they may be, in the name of the God they serve, to release unharmed the wife and daughter of Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour.”
THE GUARDIAN NIGERIA