Kidnapped Bayelsa Commissioner Regains Freedom | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Kidnapped Bayelsa Commissioner Regains Freedom

Posted: Jan 21, 2016 at 8:46 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Igoniko Oduma


Kidnapped former President Goodluck Jonathan’s cousin and  Bayelsa State Commissioner for Local Government Administration and Community Development, Sarafina Otazi, has regained her freedom.
It was gathered that Otazi  was released by her abductors on Thursday 21 January 2016, about 33 days after the incident.
The hoodlums, who were six in number, had kidnapped her on 20 December 2015 while she was travelling from Otuoke community to attend a funeral at Ewoi community in Ogbia Local Government Area.
The unknown gunmen were said to have escaped with the victim through Onuebum waterfront also in Ogbia.
Sources said Otazi was  dropped off by her captors on Thursday near Ondewari community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
There were reports that ransom was paid to secure her release but the exact amount could not be ascertained at press time.
The kidnappers had in December demanded N40million and later reduced it to N20million.
Otazi, a former acting Chairman of Ogbia Local Government Council, was first appointed as  Commissioner for Women Affairs by Governor Seriake Dickson before she was redeployed to the Ministry of Local Government Administration and Community Development.
Police Public Relations Officer of the Bayelsa Police Command, Asinim Butswat, could not confirm the development when contacted but  promised to get back to our Correspondent after receiving details on the release of Otazi.
However, further efforts to reach him were unsuccessful as he did not return calls and text messages to his mobile telephone as at the time of filing this report on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the whereabouts of the younger sister of Governor Seriake Dickson, Nancy Dickson, who was abducted with her sales girl a day earlier to that of the freed Commissioner, remain unknown as they spent Christmas in the suspected kidnappers’ den.
The 26-year-old Nancy and her sales assistant were kidnapped on December 19 by a gang of four bandits and driven away in an ash-colour  Lexus Jeep.
The hoodlums were said to have trailed them to her shop along Okaka Road in the state capital, Yenagoa, where they took them away to an unknown place.