Sahara Reporters has learned that the decomposed body of a kidnapped Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Delta State, Valentine Mbalu, has been found in a bush in Umunede, a town near Agbor.
Mr. Mbalu, who was in charge of the C Division of the Nigeria Police in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, was last week kidnapped by gunmen. He was traveling from Agbor to his station in Asaba when armed kidnappers blocked his vehicle, disarmed him and whisked him away to an unknown destination.
A police source told Sahara Reporters that the kidnappers,who were suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, had contacted some members of the abducted officer’s family to demand a ransom of N50 million in exchange for his freedom. The source added that the kidnappers later reduced their demand twice to N20 million and N5 million respectively.
Several police officers and a relative told our correspondent that they were shocked and grief-stricken to learn of the discovery of the DPO’s decomposed body in the bush.
The Delta State police spokesman, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Andrew Aniamaka, said he was not aware of the latest development. Mr. Aniamaka had earlier told reporters that the police were confident of rescuing Mr. Mbalu from the grip of his kidnappers. Speaking in a subdued tone, he stated that some members of a five-man gang that abducted the DPO had been arrested. He declined to provide the exact number of persons arrested so far.
Another police source, who demanded anonymity,disclosed that the decomposing body of the DPO was found Friday in a forest in Umunede in Ika North East local government area of Delta State. The source added that Aman of Hausa Fulani heritage had been arrested as a person of interest in connection to the DPO’s kidnap.