An Onitsha-based businessman from Imo State, Mr Chimezie Okpara, was in the early morning of Friday kidnapped by unknown gunmen in his Umudurunna village, Abba in Nwangele Local Government Area of Imo State.
Okpara, who is the chairman of the Onitsha branch of his town’s union, had returned home for the burial ceremony of his brother’s father-in-law in a neighbouring village, Daily Trust gathered.
He had gone to the Eke Ego, one of the markets in a neighbouring Okwelle community, to purchase some items for the ceremony.
It was gathered that some men in two SUVs trailed and caught up with him along the road, just some few metres to his house.
A cousin of his, Uju, who accompanied him to the market told our correspondent that at a point they noticed two SUVs trailing behind them, but they took no cognizance of any impending danger.
She said: “We had gone to the market to buy goat and all necessary things to attend the burial of father of his brother’s wife.
‘We had finished all our purchases and were on our way home when we observed two jeeps behind us.
“We did not suspect anything, but just some few metres to our house, one of the jeeps rammed into our car and just as we were contemplating what was amiss, the other double crossed us.
“We were shouting ‘Blood of Jesus’.
“They came out, heavily armed with AK47 rifles and shot sporadically into the air.
“They dragged him out and put him into one of the jeeps and drove away.”
When our correspondent visited his house at Umudurunna, his wife, Nkeiruka, was traumatised and could not speak.
She, however, said that the kidnappers were yet to make contact with the family.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the State’s command, SP Bala Elkana, is yet to respond to inquiries on the matter.