The abducted traditional ruler of Umudi Autonomous Community in Nkwerre Local Government Area of Imo State, Joel Udenkwo has reportedly escaped from captivity to the warm embrace of relatives, friends and well-wishers.
According to reports, Udenkwo popularly known as Udekings escaped from his kidnappers’den on Monday night, three days after he was seized in front of Udekings Plaza on Tetlow Road Owerri.
Reports quoted him as saying that one of his captors fell asleep while another went into another part of the forest he was kept pending the payment of the N200million ransom demanded by the abductors to smoke marijuana.
Udenkwo disclosed that he used the period to untie himself and crawled out of the forest to a nearby house, narrated his ordeal and requested to be linked to the traditional ruler of the community.
The monarch further disclosed that it was his colleague monarch who alerted the Chairman, Imo State Traditional Rulers Council, Emmanuel Okeke, who in turn invited the police and personnel of the Department of State Service DSS, to ferry him to freedom and safety.
He said; “It was when I noticed that the two men were nowhere around me that I carefully untied myself, quietly crawled and left the scene.
“I meandered through the bush while they searched for me without knowing the route I took and subsequently found safety at a nearby house, where I called out the occupants whom I narrated my ordeal to and begged them to help me call a monarch around the community, after identifying myself as a monarch. Meanwhile, this was happening around 10pm.
“On getting the monarch of the place, he then linked up with the Chairman, Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers who called in the police and the DSS who came and took me away.”
The monarch further revealed that the ransom was later reduced to N12miillion but could not be paid because of the weekend and the sit-at-home declared by the separatists.
The police authorities in the state are yet to issue any official statement on the abduction and freedom of the traditional ruler.