The 76-year-old wife of the traditional ruler of Ihitteoha Uratta community in Owerri North Local Government Area of Imo State, Ugoeze Comfort Okoro, who was kidnapped late January, has died in captivity.
The family of the deceased confirmed her death. The corpse of the woman was found along a village road in Akabor community in Oguta Local Government Area of the state.
This is also as the Anti-Kidnapping Unit of the Imo State Police Command, following valid intelligence report, raided the house of Okey Uche, who is from the same village as the deceased. Incidentally, Uche is currently serving prison term at the Owerri Correctional Centre. He, however, was fingered in the kidnap of the deceased.
Police are working on the theory that Uche masterminded the abduction of Comfort. Uche’s wife, it was alleged, harboured the kidnappers in her house until the police raid that smoked them out of the hideout.
The monarch’s wife was kidnapped in the presence of her husband and other domestic staff on January 26, 2020, barely a month after the monarch and wife celebrated their golden jubilee wedding anniversary.
Prince Paul Okoro, younger brother to His Royal Highness, Eze Dr. Emmanuel Okoro, who confirmed the incident, said Comfort’s death came after the family had paid the ransom demanded by the kidnappers.
According to him, the body of the woman was found last Sunday afternoon at Akabor Oguta, where the kidnappers dumped it.
He said: “On January 26, 2020, a group of boys stormed the palace here and rounded up the guards and other people at gunpoint. They met the Eze and his wife upstairs about 8:30p.m. The kidnappers collected everybody’s phones, including that of the Eze. They took Ugoeze away. It was after they left that one of the servants came to me, to call the president general of the community.
“We waited for a ransom demand from the kidnapper but none came until three days later when they called her daughter. The daughter is the wife of the member representing Owerri Federal Constituency, Ikenna Elezianya, demanding a ransom for her mother.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) could not be reached on the matter.
But a police source said the command had arrested some people in connection with the abduction and death of the monarch’s wife.
The police are also said to be on the trail of other fleeing members of the gang.
Meanwhile, the demolition of the prime suspect’s home in line with the Anti-Kidnapping Law of Imo State may have commenced as our correspondent met parts of his house and shop of his wife destroyed and ransacked.