Kamene Okonjo KIDNAPPERS DEMAND $1.26m …want Finance minister to resign

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OKONJO family members have established communication with kidnappers of Professor Kamene Okonjo, the mother of Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Eighty-three-year-old Kamene Okonjo was kidnapped Monday. It was also learnt that the kidnappers had also reduced their ransom from one billion dollars to 1.26 million dollars.
A highly-placed security source who spoke on the condition of anonymity told reporters that secret negotiation had commenced with the kidnappers because of the fragile health of the retired professor of Sociology and pressure from high quarters.
It was also learnt that the abductors are demanding the immediate resignation of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as Finance Minister.
Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ikechukwu Aduba, in an interview in Asaba, after a meeting with his Divisional Police Officers had expressed confidence that the detained professor would be rescued soon.
Aduba said, “We are looking at the whole place because in any palace, there are supposed to be palace guards – that is local security before you talk of that of the police.
“And so, we are looking at the obvious flaws and then, take the necessary action. We do not want to jump the gun. In the past, we have been able to rescue about 30 people without payment of ransom. “I am sure that the strategy we are putting in place will yield dividends.
“We know that anything that has to do with kidnapping, there is always an insider factor. It has always been there, just like armed robbery.”
Aduba added that the police had extended their dragnet “within and without”.
A source said the kidnappers decided to delay contact with the Okonjo family as a result of heavy deployment of policemen, army and other security operatives around the palace and the community immediately after the kidnap
It was, however, observed that the heavy security presence in the last few days around the home of the Okonjos in Ogbe-Ofu quarters had been relaxed.
But the policemen refused visitors access to the compound, saying, “No visitor is wanted here.”
Traditional chiefs that make up the Obi-in-Council met behind closed doors at the palace grounds in connection with the kidnap of the Obi’s wife, a source said.
Security operatives flooded drinking joints, markets and public places in search of useful information.
Sources told newsmen that the investigators had also invited some domestic workers of the palace for interrogation as it was believed that some of them might have connived with the kidnappers to carry out the operation.

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