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Ex-Benue LG chairman dies in kidnappers’ den

A former chairman of Ukum Local Government Area in Benue State, Elder Raymond Washima Erukaa, has died in captivity. Erukaa, an octogenarian was abducted from…

A former chairman of Ukum Local Government Area in Benue State, Elder Raymond Washima Erukaa, has died in captivity.

Erukaa, an octogenarian was abducted from his home at Tse-Erukaa, in Zaki Biam on September 23, 2023.

He was the pioneer chairman of Ukum LGA founded in 1981 and father of former Channels Television correspondent, Charles Erukaa.

His eldest surviving son, Charles Erukaa, confirmed to journalists in Makurdi that the family got wind of their father’s death on October 27, 2023.

Charles said that his late father was held till his death by the kidnappers for 34 days despite ransom paid at different times and even the subsequent hostage of his cousin, Ben Jones Iorbee Erukaa, by the kidnappers when he went to deliver the first N1 million ransom

He noted that the kidnappers demanded N12m in their first contact with the family and later reduced it to N10m.

He added that they soon came down to N5m and when his cousin, Iorbee Erukaa went with the N1m ransom, he was held hostage along with his 81-year-old father, until additional N2m.

He said the kidnappers had promised to release both men, but only his cousin, Iorbee, was released.

“Well, unfortunately we cannot tell at this moment when he died because we are still investigating the circumstances and of course the general area where he was held to be able to retrieve his body. As we speak now, his body has not been retrieved but we believe that, that will be done today, (Monday),” Charles said.

Meanwhile, the police in Benue State had yet to comment on the latest development.

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