The governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has dethroned the paramount ruler of Otuokpoti community, A.C.T. Wongo, over the kidnap of the state Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Mr Federal Otokito, who was abducted by unknown gunmen on January 20.
The abductors released Mr Otokito five days after his kidnap from his Otuokpoti community residence in Ogbia Local Government Area.
Addressing journalists after Mr Otokito’s release, Governor Diri announced the deposition of the Otuokpoti community paramount ruler and appointed Rescue Abe in an acting capacity.
The governor, who announced the sacking of the Community Development Committee, CDC, chairman, Azibalua Amon, replaced him with Jerry Offor in an acting capacity. He also removed the Youth President, Emolem Igue, and replaced him with Shedrach Afiemo.
Governor Diri disclosed that preliminary investigation revealed that they were complicit in the kidnap of the commissioner.
The kidnappers had established telephone contact with the paramount ruler of Otuokpoti to demand the release of the father of the kidnapped gang leader, as a condition to free Mr Otokito.
Bayelsa State Police Commissioner, Ben Nebolisa, and the state DSS director, Mohammed Abdullahi, presented Mr Otokito to Mr Diri on Monday evening at the Government House, Yenagoa.
The governor, who added that preliminary investigation revealed that illegal refining of crude was connected to the kidnap, warned those involved to stop.
He said, “Investigation is still ongoing. So we appeal to all in Otuokpoti to keep the peace, and security agencies will keep an eagle eye on Otuokpoti and its environs. Bayelsa will not condone crime and criminality. We have zero-tolerance for crime.”
The police had declared Joshua Abi, Clergy Mabinton, Gift Tebeda, and Azin Azin wanted in connection with the kidnap.