Wazobia FM Presenter’ Kidnappers Demand N10m Ransom From Family
March 14, 2014 – Wazobia FM’s Presenter, Diplomatic Akas Baba’s Kidnappers Demand N10m Ransom From Family
The fate of a kidnapped radio presenter based in Port Harcourt hangs in the balance as his abductors demand N10m ransom from his family, CHUKWUDI AKASIKE writes
Uneasy calm prevails in Rivers State, after the forceful abduction of a popular radio presenter, Anthony Akatakpo, aka Diplomatic Akas Baba, by unknown gunmen on Thursday.
Akatakpo, who works with Wazobia FM, was kidnapped from his residence in Rumuekini, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Eye witness accounts say that the kidnappers, who were about 12 in number, shot the radio presenter in the leg before taking him away in his private Mitsubishi Endeavor Sport Utillity Vehicle with registration number LSD 871 CM at about 3 am.
Although no contact was established between the kidnappers and their victim’s family, they left a message for Akatakpo’s pregnant wife instructing her to pay them a ransom of N10m or risk having him killed.
Investigation by our correspondent showed that the kidnappers also stole wristwatches and other personal belongings from their victim’s home before abducting him.
A source close to the family told e-Punch that the operation lasted for one hour in Akatakpo’s residence, which is situated within a developing area in Obio/Akpor LGA.
The source said though the victim did not resist the kidnappers, one of them went on to shoot him in the leg.
E-Punch gathered that Akatakpo, whose whereabouts is still unknown, and his family had moved into the house a few months before the incident. Describing the incident, Mrs. Candy Akatakpo said, “Our house is located in a developing area and that was why the kidnappers operated for about one hour without any challenge”
However, she appealed to her husband’s abductors to release him unconditionally.
Also, a statement by the management of Steam and Globe Broadcasting and Communications Limited, owners of Cool FM, Wazobia FM and Nigeria Info condemned the incident.
The statement, signed by the organisation’s Head of Stations, Aduratomi Bolade, reads, “Akas Baba was beaten and shot in the leg by the kidnappers in the presence of his children and wife, despite cooperating with them.
“He was thereafter whisked away in his Mitsubishi Endeavor SUV with Registration Number LSD 871 CM. This very violent act still leaves Akas Baba’s family in great trauma.”
The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin, who visited the victim’s residence, promised Akatakpo’s family that the police would do everything within its power to ensure the unconditional and early release of the ace presenter.
“We sympathise with you at this difficult moment. We feel your pain and anguish. Madam, I promise you that my men will do everything humanly possible to make sure that your husband is returned to you unharmed within the shortest time possible,” Ogunsakin said.
Meanwhile, the Anti-Kidnapping Squad of the State Police Command has invited some relatives and neighbours of the victim for questioning.