The police command in Enugu State has claimed that the actually rescued Super Eagles’ captain, John Mikel Obi’s father, Michael Obi Jnr from the grip of kidnappers.
In spite of widespread reports that Mikel actually paid N10m to effect his father’s release on Monday, the police in Enugu insists the patriarch was rescued after officers invaded the abductors’ den.
A statement by the police disclosed that Pa Obi had been on his way from Jos, Plateau State, in a grey coloured Toyota Prado jeep, with registration number MUS 604 CG, when he was kidnapped.
Mikel revealed that his father was in the kidnappers’ custody during the Eagles’ World Cup clash between Nigeria and Argentina last Tuesday.
Spokesman of the command, Ebere Amaraizu, in a statement on Monday disclosed that Pa Obi and his driver, John Ishaya, were abducted along Makurdi-Enugu road on June 29.
Though Amaraizu admitted that the kidnappers demanded N10m as ransom from Obi’s family, the star’s dad was rescued after a gun fight, during which the abductors ran for cover.
The PPRO added that a team of doctors from the police medical unit had conducted medical checks on Pa Obi confirmed that he was hale and hearty.
The command urged members of the public, particularly hospital workers, to watch out for anyone with bullet wounds, noting that such person could be part of the fleeing kidnap gang that abducted Pa Obi and his driver.
This is the second time that Pa Obi was kidnapped, after a similar incident in August 2011, but the police spokesman added that Pa Obi commended the police for rescuing him.
Amaraizu said: “Michael Obi, the father of Eagles captain, has regained his freedom. He was rescued a forest in the Udi area of Enugu after a gun battle between the police and the kidnappers, who escaped during the shoot-out. He is right now in the office of the Enugu State police commissioner.
“The Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police Force, through its operatives rescued Pa Michael Obi and his driver, one Ishaya John, unhurt in Egede Udi forest on Monday, July 2, 2018, around 2.30pm along old Egede-Affa Road, Enugu.
“They were rescued hale and hearty and pa Michael Obi and the driver have been reunited with their families.
“Pa Obi and his driver were abducted along Markurdi-Enugu Road on his way from Jos and taken to a thick forest.
“The abductors called to demand a ransom of N10m before policemen, acting on intelligence information, swooped on them, after which a gun duel ensued which forced the hoodlums to abandon their victims inside the forest and fled.
“He thanked the Commissioner of Police, Danmallam Mohammed, and the operatives, saying he is happy with the operatives’ performance.”