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Kidnappers demands N100m to release Catholic woman leader



A Director in the Cross River State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Bibiana Elemi-Edu, was on Friday kidnapped by gunmen on Target Street in Calabar.

Elemi-Edu, who is the President of Catholic Women Organization of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Calabar, was kidnapped at about 7pm on Friday when she went to visit the reverend sister in charge of Good Samaritan Home.

She was waiting for the gate of the home to be opened when the gunmen swooped on her and dragged her out of her Sports Utility Vehicle into a waiting black Volkswagens Golf.

An electronic accessory hawker, Mercy Okon, who witnessed the incident, said there was delay in opening the gate and suddenly some gunmen swooped on Elemi-Edu.

She said, “She was waiting in her car when the kidnappers struck. They forced her out of her SUV into their golf.”

A revered sister in the home, who pleaded not to be identified, said when she opened the gate, she found a vehicle without any occupant.

She said some hawkers told her that kidnappers had abducted Elemi-Edu after they dragged her into their car.

“The boys selling items in the area saw when she was being abducted and tried to stop the kidnappers, but they brought out guns and threatened to shoot them,” she said.

Meanwhile, a close family source said on Monday that the kidnappers had demanded N100m from the family.

The source, who noted that the negotiation had been reduced to N20m, added that the family had insisted that they did not have any money.

“The kidnappers initially demanded N100m ransom, but I learnt that it was later reduced to N20m. Unfortunately, I do not know how the family can raise that kind of money,” he said.

It was gathered that the husband of the kidnapped victim, Mr. Elemi Edu, taught at the state School of Health Technology along Mary Slessor Avenue in Calabar.

When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Jimoh Ozi-Obeh, said rescue operation was ongoing to ensure the safe rescue of the victim.

“I have dispatched a team to ensure her safe release,” he said.

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