Fresh details have emerged about the escape of a Nigerian bishop abducted for ransom last month. During the night of 18 December 2018 a gang burst into Bishopscourt, the official residence of the Rt. Rev. Clement Ekpeye, the bishop of Ahoada in the Ahoada-East Local government area in Rivers State, and seized the bishop at gunpoint, driving off in the bishop’s car.
The bishop’s wife told local media that the gang of young thugs demanded money. When none was to be found, “They asked for the car key and my husband said please take the car,” Mrs. Ekpeye said.
“They said, no come with us. They ordered all of us to lie down. When I looked through the window, I saw him going with them. I rushed out and asked the guard, he said they took him with them”.
On 22 December 2018, Bishop Ekpeye’s family reported the bishop had come home, prompting speculation a ransom had been paid. In 2013 the Archbishop of the Niger Delta province, the Most Rev. Ignatius Kattey was kidnapped as was the Bishop of Gwagwalada, the Rt Rev Moses Bukpe-Tabwaye in 2015. Both were freed after a ransom was paid for their return.
However, the Bishop’s family reports no ransom was paid. In the early hours of the morning of the 22nd, Bishop Ekpeye was able to slip his bonds and escape from the gang’s hideout, as his guards had fallen asleep.
The Rivers State Police Commissioner has promised to find the kidnappers and bring them to justice.