Gov. Diri removes Bayelsa ruler, others over kidnap of commissioner

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa has removed a paramount ruler over the kidnap of Federal Otokito, the commissioner for trade and investment. Mr Otokito, abducted by unknown gunmen on January 20, regained his freedom on Monday.

Addressing journalists after Mr Otokito’s release, Mr Diri announced the deposition of the Otuokpoti community paramount ruler, A.C.T. Wongo, and appointed Rescue Abe in an acting capacity.

The governor also announced the sacking of the Community Development Committee chairman, Azibalua Amon, replacing him with Jerry Offor in an acting capacity. He also removed the youth president Emolem Igue and replaced him with Shedrach Afiemo.

According to Mr Diri, preliminary investigation revealed that they were complicit in the kidnap of the commissioner.

His abductors released Mr Otokito five days after being kidnapped from his Otuokpoti community residence in Ogbia local government area.

The kidnappers had established telephone contact with the paramount ruler of Otuokpoti to demand the release of the father of the kidnapped gang leaders as a condition to free Mr Otokito.

Police commissioner Ben Nebolisa, and the State Security Service director Mohammed Abdullahi, presented Mr Otokito to Mr Diri on Monday evening at the Government House, Yenagoa.

Mr Diri, who said preliminary investigation revealed that illegal refining of crude was connected to the kidnap, warned those involved to stop.

“Investigation is still ongoing. So we appeal to all in Otuokpoti to keep the peace, and security agencies will keep an eagle eye on Otuokpoti and its environs. Bayelsa will not condone crime and criminality. We have zero-tolerance for crime,” said the Bayelsa governor.

The police had declared Joshua Abi, Clergy Mabinton, Gift Tebeda, and Azin Azin wanted in connection with the kidnap.


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