… Seeks Aid To Settle Liabilities From Paid Ransom
By Our Correspondents
Forty five years old widow of kidnapped Nigeria Gas Company staff, Stephen Ugochukwu Igbayaka Adimora, Mrs. Judith Oruese Adimora, with six children between the ages of 6 and 15 years old, has raised alarm that her life was in danger in the hands of some of her in-laws, over her late husband’s properties.
Others she also fingered as constituting what she termed “grave threat” to her life include a popular business man, who she described as Igbo king, as well as a man she insisted she validly sold one of their belongings to, to defray several expenses she incurred from children feeding, medicals, school fees and other general upkeep, as well as several heavy sums of money she borrowed and handed to her husband’s captors, within a month during the kidnap of her husband.
Mrs. Adimora, a widow of former prominent staff of Nigeria Gas Company Ltd, a division of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Oben Gas Plant, Edo State, Mr. Stephen Ugochukwu Igbayaka Adimora, said the threat which has become unbearable started when her late husband was kidnapped at his place of work on the 11th of May, 2016, and killed two months later by his abductors because she was unable to raise the complete ransom demanded by the kidnappers.
She said: “When the kidnappers established contact with me, they told me my husband gave them my telephone number. They demanded for a very huge ransom from me before they would release him. I told his family what the kidnappers told me but they did nothing to save my husband. For a month I went everywhere in search of money. I was able to pay part of what they demanded but I could not complete all, and they killed him.”
“The kidnappers where calling me from different direction, along Boboroku Road in Ethiope West LGA of the state. Nobody was helping me out. I was sending borrowed money to them in bits in the wee hours of the night; sometimes around 1a.m. I chattered Okada (bike) man, as I could lay my hand that accepted to go with me. I would not tell them I was going to meet kidnappers. I had to risk my life on several occasions because of the love I have for my husband. I was able to send up to 30 percent of what they demanded from me within a period of a month. I asked for more time but the kidnappers refused. After a little time I could no longer raise money anywhere again. After another month of their waiting to get more money from me and they did not get again they called me one morning that they have shot my husband dead. That was the last time they called me till today.
“My husband left home for work on the 11thof May, 2016, and never returned home again. He was kidnapped at his place of work that day and later killed by his captors because I could not pay the complete ransom the captors demanded for. He was working with Nigeria Gas Company Nigeria Ltd, an arm of NNPC, Oben Gas plant. That was how I have been suffering with my six children since that time. Sometime the children go out to scavenge for condemned things in waste sites and sell them. Some time they hawk poor water on the streets. At times I join them to hawk. Sometimes I borrow money and go to bush market to buy perishable food items and sell before we can feed for the day. It has been very tough for us since we lost our bread winner.”
“I have contemplated suicide many times because I and my children can no longer sleep with our eyes closed since my in-laws and creditors keep threatening us every now and then. Even now I don’t know whether I should just kill myself and leave so that all of them will take whatever they want to take. Maybe they even have a plan now to kill me. No one knows their plans, because they want to take over my late husband’s properties.
“The trouble coming every day from my creditors, who borrowed large sums of money to me that I handed to my husband’s captors, yet they killed him, is another serious problem. I don’t know what to do now. I don’t have where to go other than to remain with my children in my husband’s house. I need help. I cry day and night. Good spirited members of the public and the government should come to our help and save us from these people.
“Those fighting me only want my husband’s properties. They have arrested me several times. On one occasion, I was returning from the village market when police men surrounded me with arms, shouting this is the criminal. At gun point I almost passed out at the sight of those guns as I thought another set of kidnappers were after me again. They arrested me to Sapele police station and dumped me in the cell without telling me why I was arrested or dumped in the cell.
“The following day they drove me to zone 5, Benin City, where I thought I would receive humane treatment but that was not. I was locked up for two days in the open passage, with a very compacted enclosure where I remained under the harsh condition of rain and cold, before I was bailed. When I was eventually brought before an Assistant Commissioner of police of Igbo extraction he was partisan all through as he never gave me opportunity to narrate my own side of the story as it ought to be. But respite came to me when I was finally brought before the AIG in whom I met a perfect gentleman in police uniform. There was nothing to suggest to me that the AIG has any interest in the matter except the performance of his official duties. He asked me to sit down when I stood up to address him and told me that in their culture they have great respect for women.
“Each time they arrest me I would be detained and I would spend a day or two in police detention, leaving my children alone in the house to fend for their selves. Up till date they are still arresting me.
“When I and the children sold one of our belongings to pay for the debts, I heard that they wrote a petition against me but I have not seen their petition. We have to sell some of our belongings. That was how we were able to pay something from the money I borrowed that I gave to the kidnappers. Now, a larger part of the money is left unpaid, and the owners of this money, including a man popularly known as king of Igbo, are troubling me every day.
“Some of the creditors including the king of Igbo have connived with some of my husband’s family members to seize some of our belongings, yet they are still on my neck till date. They have connived with the man who we sold some of our belongings to, to arrest me two times. Anything I have sold was sold with original documents as all our original documents are with me. That is why they want to frame me up and see my end so that they can come and collect our original documents.”
She added: “I met my husband in 2002 in Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area and we are officially married according to the native law and custom of my people, as well as married under the English Law, with certificate of marriage issued by the Registrar of the Marriage Registry in Sapele, and the union has been blessed with six children, two boys and four girls, before this fate befell me.”
The children, according to her, are; Joy Adimora, girl, 15years, now in SS2, Happiness Adimora, girl, 13years and now in SS1, Peace Adimora, girl, 12 years and now in SS1, Chukwuma Adimora, boy, now 11 years and in JSS1, Ikechukwu Adimora, boy, 8years, in Primary 4 and Victory Adimora, girl, 7 years, in Primary 1 now, aside three other step-children who the husband introduced to her after their marriage that he had them out of wedlock from his earlier relationship before he married her, who she is taking care of too.
She continued: “It was his captors that called me to inform me that they have kidnapped my husband and that my phone number was given to them by my husband to call me. I then ran straight to his place of work at Oben Gas plant where some of his co-staff said he was already leaving the yard and was on his way home when they got the report that he was kidnapped on his way out of the yard. They did not tell me upon enquiry who told them about the incident. Till now they don’t ask after the children or me. They did nothing aside reporting the incident to the police who equally could not help to rescue my husband before he was killed by his captors.
“When some of my husband’s co-staff drove me to the police station, the officers told me that they were doing their investigation. I was told after a month that they have transferred the matter to Asaba. Two months after the kidnappers called me saying they were calling me for the last time to tell me that they have killed my husband for my failure to pay all the money they demanded from me.
“That was how our distress started. Since that time I have been selling even up to my wrappers before we can eat and pay up the money I borrowed and the schooling of the children. So far I have paid some money out of all that I borrowed which I gave the kidnappers. So far I have sold nearly all my wrappers, cloths and other luxury belongings.
“My husband’s family has done nothing to come to our aid, they don’t even ask after me or the children. Instead of playing a role in the upkeep of the children, they are fighting me and threatening my life. I hear that they have sold some of our properties. To make the matter worse, some of them framed lies against me that I was the one that kidnapped my husband. They arrested me in 2017 to Sapele main station and I slept there for a night. The following day the police transferred me to zone five where the police allowed me to go home because they could not find me wanting. They are attacking me because of our properties which they held from me.
“All they are concerned with are my husband’s properties and not our safety. Whenever they hear that we have sold something to solve one problem or the other they would go and meet the buyer and create problems, forcing the buyer to work with them to arrest me. I and the children are currently stranded. We don’t know what to do, where to go and how to go about life. To eat now is a big problem for us. We need help, especially in paying up the huge outstanding debts which I must pay to creditors who loaned money to me when my husband was kidnapped. We have also incurred so many debts from feeding, medicals and many other things. They are all after my life. My life is in danger!”
According to her, she can be contacted with 09033015163.