Kidnapped Igbo businessman regains freedom after N100 million ransom

IGP Solomon Arase
IGP Solomon Arase

Kidnapped Igbo businessman based in Lagos, Chief James Uzochukwu Uduji has been released six weeks after he was kidnapped by unknown gunmen at 7th Avenue, Festac in Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State.

Chief Uduji, popularly known as the chairman of Cometstar Manufacturing Company, manufacturers of a range of electrical appliances, reportedly paid a ransom of 100 million naira to his abductors after they contacted his family demanding for one million dollars, equivalent of 220 million naira.

His residence at 7th Avenue yesterday witnessed excitements following his release.

His abductors had laid ambush at a bad portion on 7th Avenue while he was returning home. They were said to have hit his car, prompting his driver to alight to ascertain the level of damage done to the vehicle.

But to their surprise, the assailants reportedly opened fire, shot the driver and drove off with their target, Chief Udoji, to an unknown destination.

Reports said after much plea, his family paid N100 million cash. But Uduji was not released as his abductors insisted on getting the exact amount, threatening to kill him if they refused.

Family sources hinted that the kidnappers suggested that a member of Uduji’s family be swapped with him, while he went to get the balance.

It could, however, not be ascertained whether the balance was paid, as family members kept mum when contacted.

However, one of the relations who described Uduji as his benefactor said fervent prayers from different quarters facilitated his release.

When contacted, spokesman for Lagos State Police Command, Mr Joe Offor, a Deputy Superintendent of Police , DSP, said investigation was still on.

He said: “I was reliably informed that he has been released and he is okay.”

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