Kidnappers of Akwa Ibom INEC official reduce ransom to N.5 million

Suspected kidnappers of an Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) worker in Akwa Ibom State, Otobong Sylvester Ukpong, have reduced their ransom to N500,000.

Ukpong was reportedly abducted last week by armed bandits at Uruk Ata 2 on the Ekparakwa-Azumini Road on his way to work at the Ukanafun Local Government Area office of the commission.

The abductors had demanded for N10 million but reduced the amount to N500,000, a family source told The Nation yesterday.

“We insisted we can only afford N200,000 million,” the family member, who spoke in confidence, said.

Another member of the family confirmed on phone that “negotiation to release him is ongoing”.

He added: “In the last discussion we had with them through my brother’s (Otobong’s) phone, the militants had reduced the initial ransom of N10 million to N500,000 and we are still negotiating to what we can afford.”

Police Commissioner Adeyemi Ogunjemilusi said a combined security operatives comprising the police, navy, soldiers and the Department of State Services (DSS) had been mobilised to track down the suspects with a view to releasing their captives.