Gunmen Abduct Inengite Nitabai, President Jonathan's Cousin
About ten heavily armed gunmen kidnapped Chief Inengite Nitabai, President Goodluck Jonathan's first cousin and father-like figure, from his residence in Otuoke, Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.
The kidnappers stormed the Nitabai family compound at between 8 and 9 p.m. on Sunday. Apart from the victim, his wife, three of their children and his wife's sister were in the house at the time of the attack.
According to Chief Nitabai wife's sister, 37-year-old Akinobebh Jin, the alarm was raised by one of the sons as he saw the criminals. The family was confused as to what actions to take, she says.
Five of the kidnappers entered the house, barking the orders, some of them followed members of the family to the kitchen. The hoodlums ordered them to lie down, threatening to shoot them. They hit Chief Nitabai's wife on the head and demanded money, while Mr. Nitabai was hit with the butt of a gun.
Mrs. Nitabai agreed to give them money and the criminals followed her to the bedroom. After collecting about N400,000, the gunmen took their victim, forced him into a car and sped away.
Five other gunmen, according to Jin, were guarding the premises and locked the family inside the house before leaving.
Jin herself sustained a minor injury and says the familt is yet to recover from shock.
Joint Task Force men and police officers have been deployed to the place. The road leading to Otuoke had been cordoned off by soldiers.
Chief Nitabai is about 70 years old and is a compound chief in the President Jonathan's Ebele family. He is a father-like figure to the President, since Jonathan's biological father died, sources from the family said.
Police officials and other security agencies have swung into action to investigate the incident. Two suspects have been arrested so far in connection with the kidnap, as others managed to escape.
Some soldiers have been guarding the mansion of President Jonathan, others have been stationed at the former hotel belonging to the wife of the President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan.