Bandits attack community chief, kidnap his pregnant wife, demand N20m ransom

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A coalition of civil rights organisations has urged the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to ensure the swift release of the kidnapped pregnant wife of a traditional leader in Agbede, Edo State.

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In a petition to the IGP signed by Adeleye Taiwo, the coalition expressed concern over the distressing incident.

The coalition called upon the police hierarchy to deploy a specialised team to rescue the pregnant wife of Chief Mutairu Kabiru Igene, also known as Amari, and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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According to the petition, the incident unfolded while Chief Igene and his pregnant wife, Mujanetu Kabiru Igene, were harvesting yams on their farm on February 28, 2024.

Armed men believed to be of Fulani descent launched a sudden attack, attempting to abduct the couple.

Chief Mutairu Igene valiantly resisted the assailants but suffered severe injuries in the process.

Left wounded and unconscious, he was discovered in the bush the following morning and rushed to a private hospital, where he remains in the intensive care unit.

However, his pregnant wife, Mujanetu Igene, remains captive under deplorable conditions, enduring torture and humiliation.

Taiwo emphasised that time is of the essence as the pregnant woman lacks access to medical care, posing a significant risk to both her and her unborn child(ren).

He stated: “The pregnant woman is naturally in a state of vulnerability and weakness. Being abducted and forced to trek for several kilometers in the wilderness with her husband hospitalised is the epitome of cruelty. We urge you to prioritise the release of the Chief and his wife.”

The armed men, suspected to be of Fulani origin as per eyewitness accounts, are demanding a ransom of N20 million for the release of the pregnant woman, adding to the anguish of the Agbede community.

The community has long faced threats from Fulani herds and armed men, resulting in the destruction of their crops and harm to their loved ones.

The CSOs noted that incidents of kidnapping in the Agbede region have reached a critical level, prompting many to abandon ancestral farmlands, which threatens food security and livelihoods.

The coalition further warned that failure to promptly release the Chief’s pregnant wife could lead to further protests and outrage in the community.

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