Kidnapped 80-year-old mother of Bayelsa SSG freed after payment of ‘N4m token’


The Bayelsa State Police Command on Sunday confirmed the rescue of Madam Betinah Benson, mother of the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government, Konbowei Benson, abducted on July 20, 2021, from her Ekeki residence in Yenagoa after 32 days in captivity.

The Commissioner, Bayelsa State Police Command, Echeng Echeng, confirmed the development on Sunday.

Echeng spoke at the residence of the SSG shortly after handing over the 80-year-old to family members.

He explained that the pressure from the police led to her release.

“Our message to those involved in such heinous act is that it is a crime and no matter how involved you are, you will be arrested,” Echeng said.

The octogenarian was in a jubilant mood when she was handed over to her son on Sunday evening in the presence of relatives and security operatives.

The News Agency of Nigeria learned that three suspects were arrested in connection with the abduction.

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On payment of ransom to secure her release, the SSG said a “token gift of N4 million and two android phones” were given to the kidnappers.

Benson described the payment as a token gift to the kidnappers and maintained that it was not ransomed as the kidnappers had earlier demanded N500 million.

He said despite the fact that five members of the family have been victims of kidnapping in the state, he will never pay the ransom and trusted in the security agencies and God to secure the release of his mother.

He said: “Mama is back to the House and I want to give thanks to God and the security team in the state. I am so happy that my mother is back.

Even if I tell people that ransom was not paid, they will not believe me. When they demanded for N500 million, I stood my ground.

Even when I say I will not pay, I gave them a token to allow Mama to return home.”

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