Gunmen suspected to be kidnappers yesterday abducted the Imo State correspondent of Channels Television, Mr. Tope Kuteyi, from his residence in Owerri, the state capital.
The dare devil abductors were said to have struck around 3am yesterday morning shooting sporadically in the neighbourhood before whisking the journalist away.
As at the time of filing this report, the whereabouts of the victim was still unknown, even though the kidnappers have opened contact and demanded N15 million ransom to release him.
Narrating the incident, the gateman of his residence simply identified as Thomas, said that the bandits numbering about eight scaled through the fence into the compound, after they had cut the electrified anti burglary cables and jumped into the compound.
He said, “I was in the security room with my brother when someone opened the window and pointed a gun at us and ordered us to open the gate, but I refused.
“While I was arguing with them, I didn’t know that other members of the gang had climbed into the compound through the fence and they ordered us to lie down before they broke into my Oga’s house and brought him out.
“After that, they entered into the next bungalow and smashed all the window glasses, but the man there escaped through the fence at the back and they took his car and drove away with my Oga.”
Reacting to the development, chief press secretary to the state governor, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo in a press statement said that the attention of the state government had been drawn to the incident and described the act as condemnable.
The statement read: “The young man is only a reporter who could not be said to be kidnapped because of money. To us those behind the kidnapping know why they decided to inconvenience the victim and his family. They must have done that to blackmail the state.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, for Imo State Police Command, DSP Andrew Enwerem confirmed the incident but said that investigation was on to track the abductors and rescue the kidnapped journalist.
Meanwhile, the latest kidnap of another journalist in the state has raised serious concern among media practitioners in the state over their safety and security.
It would be recalled that one Chidi Opara of the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, was last June abducted by unknown gunmen who are still at large till today with a Lexus jeep belonging to the victim still missing.