The General Manager of Jofad Global Services, a construction firm in Warri, Delta State, Mr. Okelezo Wilfred, has said he and his colleagues, Mr. Roland Ukojevo and Israel Isawoele, were given 10 strokes of the cane every day by their captors for 12 days.
Wilfred said they fell into a trap because they were anxious to get a contract, describing their experience in captivity as terrible.
Wilfred disclosed that though they were fed with plantain and beans every day, the daily flogging affected their health.
He said he sustained injuries on his buttocks as a result of the flogging by the kidnappers, who later demanded N150m from his boss through a phone call.
“I felt an excruciating pain when they (kidnappers) flogged me. Every day, they flogged us 10 times. They did not flog Mr. Roland because of his age. Now, I have wounds in my buttocks.
“We got a little relief when they asked Mr. Ukojevo to do the flogging because his (strokes of cane) was not as painful as when the kidnappers flogged us by themselves,” he said.
Narrating his ordeal, Ukojevo said that one of the kidnappers, who disguised as a spokesman for the company that was to give his company a contract, took them somewhere in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area.
Ukojevo, who had swollen legs, added that their captors slapped him several times on the day they realised that they had become victims of kidnappers.
“Somebody told us there was a job and that we should come and look at it. We came in from Delta to Ahoada and when we met the man, he said he would take us to his boss somewhere in Ahoada. He later took us to somewhere in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area, where we were hijacked.
“We were taken to three different locations in the bush. They took us to a hut where we were blindfolded. We were there for six hours. They later took us away from that hut to another place where we spent another six hours and later, they took us across a river and we trekked for about two hours.”
He told Southern City News that they had learnt their lesson and would never go in search of contract based on a mere phone call, even as he thanked men of the NSCDC for coming to their rescue.
Speaking with Southern City News, the state Commandant of the NSCDC, Mrs. Helen Amakiri, said the victims were rescued by NSCDC operatives around Idu location, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA of Rivers State, while on their usual patrol.
“They are contractors from Warri, in Delta State. Someone called them from Rivers State that they had a contract for them in Rivers and so, the manager, site engineer and two others were mandated by their company to come down to Rivers State to see and negotiate how the job would be done.
“Unfortunately, they did not know that it was a set-up by the kidnappers. There was no contract; it was just a scam to get them out of Delta State and get them kidnapped.”