Contrary to reports in the media, Mrs Hassana Garuba, the wife of Alhaji Zakawanu Garuba, the deceased ex-Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly is yet to be freed by her abductors.
Mrs Garuba was kidnapped along with her driver on Saturday evening at Kabba junction on the Abuja-Lokoja road, Kogi State on her way to Auchi, Edo State for the funeral of her husband who passed away earlier in the day at the National Hospital, Abuja.
A family source who would not want his name in print disclosed that the unknown gunmen who were incommunicado for hours after they were kidnapped have finally spoken with the family members.
The source said that the kidnappers initially demanded a princely N20 million before letting go of their quarry but eventually reduce the ransom money to N15 million after persistent pleadings by the traumatized family members and friends.
He said: “It is true that the kidnappers have established contact with the family members. They initially demanded for N20 million ransom to free the wife and driver but agree to slash it to N15 million after pleadings by the family that they were bereaved and could not afford the amount. They are still talking.”
During the commando-like operation, the aged mother of the deceased People’s Democratic Party (PDP) former legislator who was a member of the board of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) was also abducted but was immediately released by the captors.
Continuing, the source said that the family members had to despatch a vehicle under heavy police escort to bring the terrified mother back home to Auchi.
Meanwhile, the remains of Garuba, have been laid to rest in his hometown of Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area in strict observance of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) regulations on social distancing
His corpse arrived Auchi on Saturday night and was immediately buried in accordance with Islamic rites in a low key private ceremony.
Though rumours were rife that the former speaker died of the dreaded COVID-19 disease, a family source however denied it, insisting that the former speaker died of natural causes.
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