A businessman identified as Fortune, who was kidnapped alongside his childhood friend, Jane, on May 11, 2016, said they were tortured for giving their captors expired ATM card.
Fortune, who was rescued alongside with Jane by operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in Rivers State, said they were kidnapped after his stolen car was recovered by the police.
He explained that he had called Jane to escort him to Kalla Police Station, adding that they were accosted by the hoodlums on their way to retrieve the car from Kalla Police Station.
Disclosing that their captors took them to a forest somewhere in Igwuruta in Obio/Akpor LGA, Fortune said they inflicted injuries on his head and body when they discovered that the machine at the bag could not release money for them.
He said, “At the long run, we discovered that we were somewhere around Igwuruta, very deep inside the forest. Our kidnapper stabbed us, beat us and even took my expired ATM card. I have wounds all over my head.
“We stayed eight days in the kidnappers den. They continued to give us the beating of our lives when they discovered that the ATM card they used did not dispense money for them at the bank. It was clear that the ATM had expired, but they did not understand that.”
Fortune said he suspected that their captors were planning to use them for money rituals, recalling that they (the kidnappers) took them to a place in the bush where a huge fire was prepared.
He said, “At a point, while we were taken round the bush blindfolded, they took us to a particular place where I sensed a huge fire and their communication indicated that we were at a place where human parts were used for money rituals.
“It was in the night and I felt that someone came close and they later moved us inside the forest. I believed what saved us from the ritual aspect was that Jane was in her monthly period. That was when we were made to trek about two hours before they allowed us to rest.”
On how they got to a point where operatives of the NSDCD rescued them on Saturday night, Fortune said the argument on the sharing formula for the N500, 000 ransom paid to the kidnappers by his younger brother gave them (the victims) a moment of respite as the hoodlums began to move them out from the thick forest.
“We got a moment of respite when sharing the ransom sent to them by brother became a problem as they quarreled over it to our hearing.
“The other members became angry and they came out with us to somewhere close to the road. At the end, we heard a voice in the bush and they (our kidnappers disappeared).
“I raised my hands up. As at the time the Civil Defence men came in, it was around 11pm and we were rescued and brought here (state Command of the NSCDC).
In her remark, Jane, who had wounds on her head, said they hit her with a hard object on her head twice, even as she expressed gratitude to God for saving her live.
“I thank God for saving my life. That is the most important thing,” a visibly tired Jane told Southern City News.
Speaking on the rescue of the victims, the Rivers State Commander of the NSCDC, Mrs. Helen Amakiri, said investigation had begun with a view to arresting those behind the victims’ kidnap.
“We have commenced investigation and we have directed that the Investigation Department of the NSCDC should take over the matter. From there, we will continue till we get the culprits,” she said.