The Imo State correspondent of the Channels TV, Mr Tope Kutiyi, was in the early hours of Monday, April 11, 2016 kidnapped by yet-to-be-identified gunmen.
The correspondent, Kutiyi, was reportedly kidnapped about 3.00a.m. by armed and faceless gunmen who stormed his residence, whisked him off and vanished to an unknown destination.
The kidnappers are demanding N60 million as ransom.
The kidnap of the young journalist has ignited fears and apprehension among journalists in the state with security men working round the clock to apprehend the kidnappers as early as possible.
In a swift reaction, the state commissioner of Police, Mr Taiwo F. Lakanu, in a telephone interview, assured that the Command was on top of the situation to arrest the fleeing abductors with a view to releasing him.
Meanwhile, the state governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Sam Onwuemeodo, has denounced the incident as unfortunate in the state.
Mr Onwuemeodo, in a text message made available to newsmen said, “The attention of the state governor, Chief Rochas Okorocha, has been drawn to the unfortunate incident of kidnapping of the state correspondent of the Channels TV, Mr Tope Kutiyi, at odd hour on Sunday.”
He declared “The young man is only a reporter who cannot be said to have been kidnapped because of his wealth. To us, those behind the kidnapping knew why they decided to inconvenient the reporter and the family.”
“They must have done that to blackmail the Imo State government, which have been highly commended for fighting and reducing cases of kidnapping and other heinous crimes in the state to the barest minimum.”
The governor, however, pleaded with those holding the reporter to hostage to release him to reunite with his family.
He said, “A reporter cannot afford to pay any ransom. To some of us, he must have been a victim of mistaken identity.”
Meanwhile, the reporter, who hails from Ondo State, was recently married and wedded at Akure.
Report reaching us from Owerri said he was kidnapped in the presence of his wife at his residence, Federal Housing Estate, Owerri.
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