AWKA—THE traditional ruler of Ukpo in Dunukofia Local Government Area of Anambra State, Igwe Robert Eze, who was kidnapped on July 29, 2012 regained his freedom, yesterday, after spending nine days in the kidnappers’ den.
Igwe Eze, younger brother to Prince Arthur Eze, was abducted from his palace by a four-man gang who operated in an SUV, as he returned from a church service at the nearby St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Ukpo.
When Vanguard visited the palace, yesterday, a large crowd was seen jubilating and thanking God for the safe return of the royal father.
Among the early callers were several priests from different part of Anambra State, who organised a prayer session in the house of the traditional ruler, as well as the Anambra State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Professor Chinyere Okunna, who it was gathered, was detailed by Governor Peter Obi to confirm the release of the monarch and brief him accordingly.
There were also many traditional rulers, who showed up at Igwe Eze’s palace, among them were the traditional rulers of Abagana, Igwe Mbamala and that of Nibo, Igwe Ugonwanne Ngene, as well as members of Ukpo traditional cabinet.
The embattled Igwe Eze could not appear in public, yesterday, although Vanguard was informed that he managed to come out of his balcony to wave at his subjects, who thronged the palace as early as 5a.m., when they learnt of his return.
It was not clear if any ransom was paid before his release, although the kidnappers had demanded N100 million a day after his abduction.
Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Raphael Uzoigwe, confirmed that the monarch had regained his freedom.