The continued attack by the abductors and killers of late Obi Edward Akaeze Ofulue III, the monarch of Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area of Delta State on his Personal Aide, Obayem Happy, has claimed the life of a Police Corporal, Solomon Okonma on July 27, 2016 in Agbor.
A relative of Obayem who claimed anonymity told newsmen that the life of Obayem Happy has been under threat since his principal; Obi Ofulue was abducted on January 5, 2016 along the lonely Igbodo/Obior Road.
According to the source, “Our son and brother, Obayem Happy has continue to run for his dear life because the abductors of his master (Obi Ofulue) are after him to pay them the huge ransom demanded irrespective of the fact that they have taken the life of the monarch.
“Obayem Happy has told us that the hoodlums had vowed to also take his life if the ransom is not paid to them. This last attack before his sudden disappearance was at the Central Hospital Agbor which claimed the life of Corporal Solomon Okonma who was among the police rescue team that came”.
Meanwhile, the source said the worry of the Obayem family over Obayem Happy’s whereabouts is his safety.
It would be recalled that for two weeks and three days, Obi Ofulue, who was kidnapped on January 5, this year, was held incommunicado by his abductors, said to be herdsmen, until his decomposed body was found in a bush near Umunede in Ika North East Area of the state on January 22.
Obi Ofulue was heading towards Igbodo, also in Ika North East Area, when he was waylaid and kidnapped about 4pm along a bad spot between Igbodo and Obior in Aniocha South Council as he journeyed in his Toyota Land Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV).
The abductors, about six of them, had suddenly rushed out of the bush on sighting the car and shot sporadically into the air, causing the driver to get stuck in a ditch while attempting to make U-turn and drive speedily and safely away.
The monarch was reportedly led into the bush on a force march, while the abandoned SUV was later recovered from the spot by a combined team of Policemen attached to the Igbodo Station and local vigilante from Igbodo and Obior communities.
On the sixth day of his abduction, the abductors reportedly opened negotiations and demanded a N100 million ransom to free the royal prisoner.
As negotiations for a possible reduction in the price tag was ongoing, his subjects sought the face of God, praying earnestly for his safe return home.
A marathon spiritual exercise organised by the community under the aegis of Ubulu-Uku Christian Network, saw interdenominational Christian worshippers converged at the palace gate before proceeding to the different parts of the agrarian community in supplication. And suddenly, the bad news broke.
Days after the murder, there is still unease in the community, which is 30 minutes drive from Asaba, the state capital.
Responding, the state Police spokesperson, Celestina Kalu, said efforts were being made to fish out the culprits.
She recalled that when the Police received report of the kidnap, detectives were immediately mobilised in search of the Obi and arrest the hoodlums.
His decomposing body was identified because of the shoes and other royal apparel he wore on the day of his abduction.
She disclosed that the other victim later escaped from their abductors, while concerted efforts were made by the Police to rescue the monarch.
Kalu added that while efforts were on to rescue him, the Police at Umunede on January 20 got information that two decomposing bodies were found in a bush within Umunede.
Culled from Ika Weekly