His Eminence Samuel Uche, the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria abducted by gunmen, on Tuesday said N100 million was paid as ransom before he was released.
Uche who spoke at a press conference in Lagos, said the monies were arranges in five sacks of N20 million.
He said the funds were raised by the Methodist church in Nigeria, as neither the federal nor state government, not even the military or police intervened.
The cleric was kidnapped on Sunday in Abia State but was released on Monday.
The Prelate had been kidnapped alongside two others, the Bishop of Methodist Church, Owerri Diocese and the Prelate’s chaplain.
They were reportedly whisked away at about 2pm on their was from a church programme in Okigwe Imo State to Isuochi in Umu Nneochi Local Government Area of Abia State
Nigerian Senate, had on April 27, passed the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (Amendment) Bill 2022, into law to prohibit the payment of ransom to kidnappers.
The bill amended Section 14 of the Act to read thus: “Anyone who transfers funds, makes payment or colludes with an abductor, kidnapper or terrorist to receive any ransom for the release of any person who has been wrongfully confined, imprisoned or kidnapped is guilty of a felony and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years.”
ALSO, while reacting to the abduction yesterday, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order security agencies to free them immediately.
In a statement in Abuja, Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to CAN President, said: “If a great servant of God, of Uche’s calibre, could be kidnapped like a three-year-old baby on a major road, without any resistance from the police, it speaks volumes of what our security architecture has become.”
He noted: “Not fewer than 10 clerics have been kidnapped, this year alone, and none was rescued by security agencies. In two instances, their captors, unfortunately, killed the victims.
“This is no more a country one can be proud of. No reasonable government can continue to leave the citizens in a terrible state of insecurity as we are currently. This situation is not good for our nation at all.
“We, once again, call on President Buhari to do all within his powers to get these servants of God released very soon and unhurt.
“This administration must redeem its image of widespread insecurity by bringing sanity to this situation before leaving office.”
He added: “To those who are holding these servants of God, we appeal that they let go of them. We also call on Christians and other well-meaning Nigerians to join us in praying for their release immediately.”