Ten months after Lotachukwu Ezeudu was kidnapped, there are fears that the 18-year-old University of Nigeria accounting undergraduate may have been killed and buried by his kidnappers.
On September 26, 2009, Lota, as he is fondly called, was said to have told his mother, Mrs. Ngozi Ezeudu, that he was headed for the home of a Divisional Police Officer, Mr. Sam Chukwu.
The DPO‘s son, Nnaemeka Chukwu, who attended the same secondary school as Lota and whose family is well known to the Ezeudus had invited him to come check on a laptop his father‘s ‘personal assistant‘, Desmond, wanted to buy.
Lota‘s mother said not long afterwards, she and her husband, Mr. Bona Ezeudu, received a call that their son had been kidnapped and the kidnappers demanded an outrageous sum in Dollars as ransom.
According to Lota‘s father, Bona, all pleas that he is just an artist and cannot raise the amount fell on deaf ears as the kidnappers, who spoke to him on the phone remained adamant.
Bona said, ”After negotiations, we finally managed to raise above N1m and paid the kidnappers who gave specific instructions on where and how to drop the money
”As soon as that was done, we earnestly anticipated my son‘s return but till date, he is yet to be seen.”
Ezeudu added, ”Surprisingly, while the negotiations with the kidnappers lasted, the DPO‘s son was always with us and was the one who mostly spoke with the them on the phone on how they could be reached with the ransom.
”He amazed me because he kept coming to the house to find out the progress that had been made on our missing son.”
Lota‘s mother also said Nnaemeka and Desmond, on the day her son was kidnapped, claimed that they later told Lota not to bother coming again because they had some other schedules.
But contrary to the claim, a print out from the MTN showed that Desmond called Lota five times on that day and the DPO‘s son called around 4.10 pm when her son must have been kidnapped.
According to Lota‘s mother, ”The print out (of Etisalat) indicated that it (the kidnapping) was around our area, that is Trans-Ekulu, Phase 6.”
She stated that after 4.10pm, her son’s vehicle was able to get to 9th Mile at about 5.25pm, adding that an eyewitness saw the two persons that dropped the car when they crossed over the road and returned to Enugu.
She added, ”And not only that, a girl of eight years saw the vehicle at Dhamija area coming down from Phase 6 and the next day the girl told my little girl, ‘I saw that car your brother drives, but it wasn‘t your brother, it was a short dark boy and a tall boy in front and they were moving out of Trans-Ekulu.
”That, by implications, told us that the car also went into Phase 6, came out and now went to 9th Mile and they now called my husband to tell us that they had taken my son to Awka and from there they would take him to Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa and if my husband didn‘t cooperate, he would have go to Bayelsa to take his body.”
Although Nnaemeka is being detained by the Enugu State Police Command, PUNCH METRO gathered that Desmond is still at large and has been declared wanted by the police.
Also in police net is Ernest Okeke, while Uchenna Amajor, the son of Prosper Hotel‘s proprietor, Trans-Ekulu, has also been declared wanted as a suspect in the matter.
Bona told PUNCH METRO that anything short of justice would not be taken.
Bona said, ”From all indications, we know that Lota has been killed. So, there is no need crying over spilt milk. What we only demand now is justice.
”There are indications that they may want to subvert justice. But let me sound it clear that anything short of justice will not be accepted.”
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