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Published On: Tue, Apr 8th, 2014

E.K.Clark’s Son: Delta Govt Denies Payment of Ransom to Kidnappers, Blast Faceless MEND


By Oghenekevwe Laba
LAGOS APRIL 8TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The government of Delta State has denied allegation made by a faceless group called called MEND that it paid N500m as ransom for the release of Chief Ebikeme Clark, son of Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark.
A statement signed by the Secretary to Delta State Government (SSG) Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay made available to URHOBOTODAY also denied the claim made by MEND that the kidnap saga was stage managed by Chief Ebikeme Clark and Delta State police command to swindle the state government of such amount.

According to the statement, “The attention of the Delta State Government has been drawn to a release by a group called MEND, alleging that the Delta State Government parted with the sum of N500m as ransom for the release of Mr. Ebikeme Clark, son of Chief E.K. Clark who was kidnapped and released a few days ago. In the said statement, it was also alleged that the kidnap was stage managed by Ebikeme Clark and the police to swindle the State Government of such an amount.
“The Delta State Government wishes to State categorically that it did not part with any money as ransom for the release of Mr. Ebikeme Clark. It is the policy of the Government not to pay or encourage the payment of ransom by families as this encourages more kidnappings. The state government has had previous cases of high profile kidnappings that the victims have been kept much longer than that of Ebikeme. The government did not pay any ransom. What then is so special about Mr. Ebikeme Clark that will make the State Government pay ransom?
“Secondly the volume of money being mentioned, N500m makes the allegation very foolish for anyone who knows how government runs and the logistics of that volume of fund movement, considering the fact that there were only two working days during the period.
“From the statement by the so called MEND, it is obvious that they are out not just to blackmail the State Government but also Chief E.K.Clark and the amnesty program of the Federal Government.
“The Delta State Government wishes to advise the people of the Niger Delta especially those still hiding under the umbrella of MEND, that the tactics of blackmail, falsehood, rumour mongering and intimidation in the region are gone. The region is in a phase of infrastructure and human capital development catch up which will ultimately ensure peace in the region. Let all hands be on deck.”

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