There was tension in the Orodo Autonomous Community in the Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State on Saturday as a traditional ruler, Eze Samuel Ohiri, was abducted.
It was learnt that the residence of Ohiri, a former chairman of the Imo Council of Traditional Rulers was stormed by the heavily armed four-member gang in a green Toyota Highlander.
A community source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed on Saturday that “His Royal Majesty, Former Ezeimo, Eze Samuel Agunwa Ohiri has been kidnapped by unknown persons from his residence at Odumara Orodo in Mbaitoli LGA Owerri, Imo State.”
Also, a police source who spoke anonymously due to lack of approval said, “They arrived in a commando style and headed straight into the palace where they kidnapped the traditional ruler, but his cousin, who was with him, managed to escape.
“They dragged the traditional ruler into their vehicle and drove towards Umuaka-Orlu Road.”
The incident was, however, confirmed by the Police Public Relations Officer in Imo, Henry Okoye, who disclosed that the command had begun an investigation into the matter.
“Police have started an intense investigation and we have taken some steps to ensure that the victim is rescued and his kidnappers arrested.
“The suspects will be made to face the full wrath of the law when arrested.
“We have taken some affirmative steps towards ensuring that the victim is rescued and that his kidnappers are arrested and made to face the full wrath of the law. Updates on this case will be communicated in due course,” the PPRO said.
On November 25, 2023, gunmen kidnapped the traditional ruler of Otulu Autonomous Community in Ezinihitte-Mbaise LGA, Eze Joe Achulor, in a similar manner.
Achulor was killed on the same day and his corpse was dumped on Mbutu Road, a neighbouring community in Aboh-Mbaise.
On July 17, 2023, the traditional ruler of Ezuhu Umuamadi Nguru Autonomous Community in Aboh Mbaise, Eze James Nnamdi (Mirioma), was also gruesomely murdered by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.