Web developer laments ordeal in kidnappers’ den, demands probe

A 23-year-old electrical engineer and website developer, Franklyn Onoaghakpote, on Sunday, gave a chilling account of his near-death experience in the hands of suspected kidnappers in Benin, Edo State.

Onoaghakpote, in a petition to the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu, dated February 11, 2022 and titled, ‘A case of conspiracy and kidnapping against one Michael and others’, said he lost valuable worth N20m to the kidnappers.

Giving details of his experience, the victim told journalists in Benin on Sunday that he was beaten and taken to a popular hotel on Okhoro Street in Benin City, where he was brutalised for several hours.

He said, “On February 10, 2022, the said Michael requested to see me concerning a website I developed for him two years ago. But when I got there, I waited for him only for him to appear with about 20 boys who abducted me at gunpoint.

“They blindfolded me, tied my hands and took me to an uncompleted building where they started beating me and forcefully took valuables from me.

“Among the items were a Samsung S21 Ultra with IMEI No: 350299944273493/352817864273496; an iPhone 6, and my bank transfer PIN. They transferred the sum of N4,900,000 from my GT Bank account to a Polaris Bank account, stole $15,000 worth of Bitcoin, my gold necklace and a hand chain.

“They took me to a river, stripped me naked and started beating me again. After the beating, they blindfolded me, took me to a room where I was kept for seven hours and called my parents for a ransom of N16m. They told my parents they would kill me if they refused to pay.

“They put a call to their father, who they claimed to be a military man who ordered them to shoot my legs, but they ended up hitting my legs with planks before I was released to go around 2.30am on February 11, 2022.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bello Kontongs, confirmed the report.

He said he was expecting a detailed briefing from the anti-kidnapping department of the police.

Kontongs, however, said three persons had been arrested in connection with the case.

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