In a bid to track the abductors of Mrs. Margaret Emefiele, the wife of the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has deployed helicopters along the Benin-Agbor Road, where the incident had taken place.
Idris, it was gathered, had also flooded the area with hundreds of police operatives and sniffer dogs in a move to put pressure on the kidnappers.
A senior police officer said, “We received information on Thursday that the CBN governor’s wife was abducted alongside three women and a male driver. They were on their way to Agbor, Delta State, where she hails from.
“We have deployed policemen, helicopters and sniffer dogs and we will arrest the suspects very soon.”
Gunmen had on Thursday abducted Margaret along with four others and demanded N100m as ransom.
The kidnappers were said to have made the demand after taking their victims to an unknown location.
A senior police officer told our correspondent that Margaret was abducted alongside three women and a male driver.
He said they were abducted along the Benin-Agbor Road on Thursday.
Police sources said the abductors did not know her identity, adding that they simply stumbled on her and whisked her away.
It was learnt that the IG Special Intelligence Monitoring Team, headed by Abba Kyari, has commenced investigation into the incident.
Kyari was the officer who arrested the suspects responsible for the abduction of Prof. Kamene Okonjo, the mother of ex-Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in 2012.
Another source said, “The kidnappers did not know the identity of the woman; preliminary investigation indicated that the gang just got her by chance. They have contacted her husband and they are demanding for N100m cash.”
Findings indicate that there were fears that the gang may increase their demand if they got to know the identity of their hostage.
“We actually wanted to keep the incident under wraps until the woman has been rescued, because the exposure of the victim’s identity may complicate the case; this is our fear,” a source said.
The police spokesman, Donald Awunah, could not be reached for comments as calls to his mobile telephone failed to connect. He had yet to respond to an SMS as of the time of filing this report.
Security experts described the abduction of the CBN governor’s wife as an embarrassment, noting that something must have gone wrong.
A former director, Department of State Services, Mike Ejiofor, stated that as a politically exposed person, Margaret must have had security operatives attached to her.
He wondered where the personnel were at the time she was abducted, noting that until the details of the incident came to light, it might be hard to know what transpired.
The lawyer urged Nigerians to take their personal security seriously.
Ejiofor said, “I don’t know the circumstances around her abduction, but this is one of the highest profile kidnap cases in recent time.
“How can the wife of the CBN Governor, with all these security challenges be kidnapped? We need the details. Was any security operative attached to her?
“As the wife of the CBN governor, I expect she would need some protection. Until I get the details, I can’t talk much, but I believe something has gone wrong, which is very embarrassing.”
Another security analyst, Ben Okezie, also observed that something must have gone wrong with the security operative(s) around Margaret.
He expressed confidence that the kidnap victim would be rescued and prayed for her safety.
“We pray they did not do anything evil to her. This should signal top people that their security should be guaranteed because they are important to Nigeria,” Okezie said.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the CBN, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, did not pick repeated calls made by one of our correspondents to his mobile telephone.
When a text message was sent to him, requesting for comments on the kidnap of Margaret, his response was “I am sorry, not at this time.”