Nearly one month after he was kidnapped, Chief Gbalipre Turner, the father of the chairman of Ogbia Local Government Council in Bayelsa State, has been released.
The 70 year old chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was kidnapped in his Samphino Road residence in Yenagoa, the state capital at about 10 pm on September 5, 2021 by unknown gunmen dressed in military camouflage.
His son, Hon. Ebinyo Turner, who confirmed his release to our correspondent via telephone on Saturday, said the sum of N5 million was paid for his freedom.
He said the kidnappers released him on Friday night after they confirmed receipt of the money, adding that the state government was involved and very helpful throughout the period.
Also confirming his release, the Spokesman of the state police command, SP Asinim Butswat, said in a statement that Chief Turner was found in the Oluasiri community in the Nembe Local Government Area of the state on Friday.
The statement said, “Chief Gbalipre Turner, the 70 years old father of Mr. Ebiyon Turner, the ogbia local government council chairman, has been released by his abductors.
“The victim who was kidnapped on 5th September 2021, at Kpansia, Yenagoa, was released on 1st October, 2021 at Oluasiri, Nembe Bassambiri. He is hale and hearty and has been reunited with his family”.
The statement explained that police operatives had earlier mounted pressure on the kidnappers which led to the release of the victim, adding that the suspects have been identified and efforts are ongoing to apprehend them.
“Mr. Echeng E Echeng, the Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command, has ordered officers to sustain the ongoing investigation to arrest the suspects”, the statement added.
The kidnappers had earlier demanded a whooping sum of N50 million before they would release him which the family insisted that they cannot provide.