The traditional ruler of Mbutu ancient kingdom in the Aboh Mbaise Local Government Area of Imo State, Damian Nwaigwe, who was kidnapped from his palace in the early hours of Thursday, has been rescued unhurt.
The monarch was rescued on Saturday and reunited with his family, according to a spokesperson for the police in the state, Micheal Abattam.
Abattam said, “The abduction royal father, HRH Eze Damian Nwaigwe of Mbutu ancient Kingdom, who was kidnapped on December 9, at about 0300 hours in his residence has been rescued unhurt and reunited with his family.”
It was not ascertained as of the time of filing this report if any ransom was paid for the monarch’s freedom.
A community source had told our correspondent on Friday that the kidnappers had established contact and made a N100m demand as ransom.
The source, who pleaded anonymity disclosed that after much persuasion, the criminals reduced the ransom to N20m.
The release of the Mbutu monarch came just 24 hours after Eze Edwin Azike of Atta ancient kingdom in the Njaba LGA, was killed and dumped at a market square in his community.
On November 19, the traditional ruler of Achi Mbieri, Henry Madumere, was kidnapped at Iho in the Ikeduru LGA, while on the way to a public function.
The octogenarian monarch who is the father to a former deputy governor of the state, Eze Madumere, was released after six days in his captors’ den.
Also, on October 19, hoodlums invaded the Njaba LGA headquarters at Nnenasa and opened fire on traditional rulers who were having a stakeholders meeting.
While two monarchs were wounded and rushed to a hospital, two others died on the spot.
Among the traditional rulers who died in the attack were, the Obi 1 of Okwudor autonomous community, Eze E. Anayochukwu Durueburuo and Eze Sampson Osunwa of Ihebineowerre autonomous community.