Gunmen abduct Channels Television’s Imo correspondent, demand N15m ransom



Gunmen in their numbers, at about 3.00a.m. yesterday, found their way into the Owerri home of the Imo State correspondent of the Channels TV cable, simply known as Tope Kutiyi, from Ondo State, whisking him away to an unknown destination.

According to family sources, the abductors have demanded N15 million ransom. The source also told The Guardian that the bandits left a locally manufactured double barrel gun on top of the fence of the victim’s home, located at the Federal Housing, near World Bank.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, said the command is working round the clock to apprehend the culprits and rescue the victim.

Tope had assumed duties as the television station’s correspondent about four years ago. He got married more than a year ago.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Imo State Governor, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, “the young man is only a reporter who cannot afford to pay any ransom. To some of us, he must have been a victim of mistaken identity.

“To us, those behind the kidnapping knew why they decided to inconvenience the reporter and the family. They must have done that to blackmail the Imo State government, which have been heavily commended for fighting and reducing cases of kidnapping and other heinous crimes in the state to the barest minimum.”

Tope is the third journalist facing similar fate. Miss Chidi Opara of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), was last year kidnapped, while her Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), taken away is yet to be recovered. She was rescued later safely.

Chief Ndubuizu Ugorji, a retired official of the state-owned Imo Broadcasting Corporation, was abducted about two years ago. He was also rescued later.

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