Benue: Abducted ex-LG chairman dies in custody 37 day after family paid ransom 4 times

The former chairman of Ukum Local Government Area, (LGA), Washima Erukaa, who was kidnapped in September this year, has reportedly died in custody, after being with his abductors for over one month.

This is just as the family of the slain former chairman has disclosed that they paid the abductors of the 80 year old man ransom for about four times without securing his release.

Recall that Mr Erukaa was kidnapped on September 23, 2023, a day before his kinsman, state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mathew Abo, was kidnapped.

They were both kidnapped at Zaki Biam, in Ukum LGA. But while the commissioner, Mathew Abo, was rescued 10 days later, Mr Erukaa was not.

Recall also that after the ex chairman was abducted, a family member identified as BenJones Erukaa was also lured to the kidnappers den on the pretext of negotiating with the family for payment of ransom. He was also abducted and kept into custody with the former chairman

It was learnt that BenJones was freed on October 20 but Pa Erukaa was still kept in custody by the kidnappers for reason best known to them.

When contacted on the news of his death on Monday Morning, the Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), Benue State Police Command, SP Catherine Anene, said she does not have the information yet.

However, a member of the Erukaa family, who didn’t want to be named, said the lifeless body of Mr Erukaa was found somewhere within Zaki-Biam town, the headquarters of Ukum LGA on Sunday.

Washima Erukaa is the father of a renowned broadcaster, with Channels TV, Charles Erukaa.

The source who debunked reports that the kidnappers may have killed the former council chairman, said from what the family gathered, Erukaa died in his sleep.

It was said that when his abductors found out that former council boss had died, they dropped his lifeless body in a vicinity where he would easily be found.

The source said, “That’s how it ended; the kidnap saga. And I think probably that’s the kind of death that God reserved for him. So that’s how it ended.

“For some of us, after the third week we lost hope, but we were still praying because we knew that there is nothing God cannot do.

“We believe the conditions that he was kept in captivity were conditions that would not make for his survival.

“Based on what we learnt from hearsay is that he slept and didn’t wake up. They (abductors) had no reason to kill him. It’s not as if they made demands that we didn’t meet up with.

“We paid them ransom like four times,” the source said.


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