Authorities of the Nigeria police in Bayelsa State yesterday denied paying N1million to secure the release of the surviving police corporal, Lucky Ebebi, who was on a trip with the 12 officers killed last week on the Azuzama waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
The state police commissioner, Kingsley Omire, allegedly led a team to negotiate with kidnappers to secure the release of Corporal Ebebi by paying N1 million ransom. Some ex-militants have claimed responsibility for the killing of the 12 policemen by laying an ambush against them in Azuzama.
Ebebi was freed on Wednesday night alongside one Indonesian, who was held in the killers’ camp at Okugbe. Another expatriate identified as a Greek national was said to have died in the ex-militant camp.
Police spokesperson, Mr. Alex Akhigbe, said though the police corporal was released after negotiations, no ransom was paid. “The policeman who was held hostage by the militants has been released. He sustained gunshot injuries, but he is now in a stable condition. He was released through negotiations, prayers, contacts. We did not pay any ransom before he was set free.
“We do not have that kind of money. Where do you expect the Bayelsa police command to get N1 million to pay to ex-militants as ransom?”