Friday, 25 October 2013

Kidnappers free Oronto Douglas’ sister

Mrs Augustina Douglas-Ayam

Mrs. Augustina Douglas-Ayam, elder sister to the Senior Adviser to the President on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Mr. Oronto Douglas, has been released by her kidnappers.

Augustina was released after nine days of captivity, on Thursday night. It could not be ascertained if any ransom was paid. However, a family source, who preferred anonymity, said Augusta was released on a humanitarian grounds.

He said that the family did not pay any ransom before she (Augusta) was released by her captors.

A statement by the family signed by Mr. Romeo Douglas read in part, “After nine traumatic days in the hands of abductors, our beloved sister Augusta-Ayam was unconditionally released to the family.

“We thank God for her protection and intervention. We also thank all Nigerians who through prayers and words of encouragement supported us throughout this ordeal.

“Our sister is currently in hospital receiving treatment. We will not be making further statements on this issue and we wish to put it behind us.”

Augusta was seized and whisked away to an unknown destination in the creeks, by nine gunmen who were dressed in military fatigue on October 15.

The kidnappers, after keeping mum for about four days, eventually contacted the woman’s husband last Thursday and asked for a whooping N500m.

After failing to reach the Presidential adviser, the bandits had to slash their initial N500m ransom to N17m on Friday.

But when it became obvious that even the N17m was unattainable, they reduced the ransom to N10m.

However Augusta’s husband, Mr. Aziayam Apaga, had allegedly pleaded with the kidnappers to reduce the ransom to N3m, insisting that that was what the family could afford.

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