Gunmen kidnap NTA staff and 10 other passengers in Benue

Gunmen intercepted a Benue Links vehicle travelling from Onitsha, Anambra State to Makurdi and kidnapped eleven passengers including a staff of the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).

The incident happened on the Otukpo – Enugu expressway, along Olanyega/Ogbodo road in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State at about 2:30 pm on Sunday, September 17, 2023.

It was gathered that four other passengers were able to escape, with eleven held hostage at the moment.

The NTA staff identified as Mr. Thomas Tikyaa, who is an accountant, was said to have been transferred from Makurdi Zonal Network Office to Abia state, and was coming to Benue to visit his family, when the incident occurred.

A letter of complaint, written by the Zonal Director, Pam Dung Nyam, to the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command, appealed for quick intervention to rescue the victims.

“I wish to formally report the kidnapping of a Staff of NTA, who was recently redeployed from NTA Network Centre, Makurdi, to NTA, Abia State,” Nyam said.

“The ugly incident occurred around 10:00pm yesterday, 17 September 2023 between Ogbokolo and Otukpa on his way to Makurdi to visit his family while onboard Benue Links Bus,”

Mr. Nyam noted that the NTA family will be happy if the victim is rescued and safely returned to his family.

A staff of NTA who did not want to be mentioned told newsmen that the kidnappers had contacted Tikyaa’s family and demanded N50m ransom, which was later reduced to N10m.

Spokesperson of the state Police Command, SP Sewuese Anene, who confirmed the kidnap, said investigation is ongoing to unravel those responsible for the crime even as she did mention the number of victims in the vehicle.

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