Sylva’s 87-yr-old uncle dies in Kidnappers’ den, buried in shallow grave
Pa Benson Adigio-Eseni, the 87- year-old abducted uncle of the former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, has died in his captors’ den. His remains were buried by the heartless kidnappers in a shallow grave at the entrance of Kula community, a border town between Rivers and Bayelsa State. These revelations were made by a 27- year-old suspect, simply identified as Nelson, who also disclosed that Pa Adigio- Eseni died in the creeks on August 14. Nelson, an indigene of Rofogbene in Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State, said the octogenarian died before the group collected N5million ransom from his family. The suspect, who claims to have completed his secondary school education, said he was coerced by the leader of his gang to join in the criminal act. Nelson, who identified the leader of the gang as Ebino, said the gang bought a Turaya phone from the Robinson Plaza in Warri, Delta State, with which they established contact with their victim’s family and negotiate for a ransom. Nelson said he collected the sum of N250, 000 as his share of the ransom. He, however, said the octogenarian would not have died if their leader had listened to the pleas of the other members of the gang to let him go. Narrating how the old man died, Nelson said: “We begged the leader to release the man because as at that time, the family had refused to discuss ransom. “The old man looked sick. And at night, while he was eating, he started choking and he slumped. We rushed to his aid, but he died before we could help him.” Sylva’s 87-yr-old uncle dies in Kidnappers’ •Police exhume body for autopsy •How he died before we received N5million ransom –Suspect Nelson said another gang member who was negotiating the ransom with the victim’s family said the remains of the old man should be returned to his family. “Ebi said he would take the corpse of the old man back to the family. But we argued against it. He then insisted that he would bury him at Kula village. “He buried the old man at the entrance of the community. While we all wanted to leave, thinking that the kidnapping was a failed business, Ebi insisted on collecting the ransom. He said his share would assist him to escape abroad,” Nelson further explained. He claimed that he was trying to locate a lawyer who could help him to report the matter to the police when he was arrested. According to family sources, the kidnappers wrapped the body of Adigio- Eseni in a polythene bag before dumping him in the shallow grave. “We have been informed by the police that we should be present when the autopsy would be done. “It is sad that a man that served the nation as a military man and retired as a Major in the Nigerian Army was killed in a dastardly manner. “It is a shame on the security of the state and the nation. We paid a ransom of N5million for his release, and yet he was killed.” Meanwhile, the police have confirmed that the corpse of the octogenarian was recovered from a shallow grave. The recovery was said to have been done under the supervision of a senior pathologist from the state Ministry of Health. It has since been deposited at the morgue of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Yenagoa. While parading the suspect, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bello Ahmed, said the police had deployed a special team to arrest other fleeing suspects. Ahmed, in a statement inYenagoa, said: “Today, 28th of August, 2014, on a tip-off, a combined team of security agencies in Bayelsa State and men of the Bayelsa Ministry of Health were led to a border town between Rivers and Bayelsa State, near Kula village, where a shallow grave was discovered. “On excavation, the body of the late Chief Adigio Eseni, aged 87 years, who was earlier kidnapped on 28th of July, 2014, by unknown gunmen was exhumed from the shallow grave under the supervision of a senior pathologist from the Bayelsa Ministry of Health. “The corpse was removed and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary, Yenagoa, for autopsy.” It will be recalled that Adigio-Eseni, an octogenarian uncle of Sylva, was on July 28, seized and whisked away at about 2am in Okpoama, Brass Local Government Area, by gunmen who rode in a speedboat. The hoodlums were said to have shot sporadically before abducting their victim.