Abducted Bayelsa State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr. Federal Otokito, has regained freedom.
His abductors released him, yesterday, five days after he was kidnapped from his Otuokpoti community residence in Ogbia council.
The Bayelsa Commissioner of Police, Mr. Ben Nebolisa, and the state Director of State Security Services, Mr. Mohammed Abdullahi, presented Mr. Otokito to Governor Douye Diri in the evening at Government House, Yenagoa.
The commissioner declared four persons: Joshua Abi, Clergy Mabinton, Gift Tebeda and Azin Azin wanted in connection with the kidnap.
Addressing Government House correspondents, Diri announced the deposition of the Otuokpoti community paramount ruler, Chief A.C.T Wongo and appointed Chief Rescue Abe in an acting capacity.
The governor also announced the sacking of the community’s development committee chairman, Azibalua Amon, and replaced him with Jerry Offor in acting capacity while the youth president, Emolem Igue was also removed and replaced with Shedrach Afiemo.
Investigation revealed that they were complicit in the kidnap of the commissioner.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah quoted the governor as reiterating the state government’s zero tolerance for crime and kidnapping.
He called on community leaders to remain vigilant and ensure that peace prevailed in their communities, warning that government would not hesitate to sanction anyone found wanting in the discharge of their duties.
Diri, who said preliminary investigation revealed that illegal refining of crude was connected to the kidnap, warned all those involved in such business in the state to stop forthwith.
The state’s helmsman thanked security agencies and all those who availed the government of useful information that led to the release of the commissioner, assuring that his government will continue to make Bayelsa safe for all residents.
He said: “I like to thank God that a member of the state exco, who was kidnapped, is nowhere with us.
“I like to also thank the security agencies and all other sources that helped in securing the release of the commissioner.
“Investigation is still ongoing. So we appeal to all in Otuokpoti to keep the peace and security agencies will keep an eagle eye on Otuokpoti and environs.”
In his remarks, the commissioner, Otokito, thanked the governor, his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, and others, who worked for his release.