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Delta denies paying ransom to free Edwin Clark’s son, Ebikeme

Ebikeme was kidnapped last Wednesday and released on Sunday.

The Delta State Government on Tuesday debunked the claim by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta that N500 million was paid for the release of Edwin Clark’s son, Ebikeme.

The Secretary to the Delta State Government, Ovuozorie Macaulay, said that no ransom was paid for the release of Ebikeme.
“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,” Mr. Macaulay said.

Mr. Macaulay said that the statement by MEND was an effort to blackmail the Delta State government and Mr. Clark, who is a delegate at the on-going National Conference.

Mr. Macaulay noted that there was nothing spectacular about Ebikeme that would warrant a huge sum as N500 million to be paid as ransom.

“The government did not pay any ransom. What then is so special about Mr. Ebikeme Clark that will make the State Government pay ransom?” he asked.

Mr. Macaulay said that the Delta State Government wished to advise the people of the Niger Delta, especially those still hiding under the umbrella of MEND, that the tactics of blackmail, falsehood, and intimidation in the region were gone.

Ebikeme was abducted by unidentified gunmen at Kiagbodo, Burutu Local Government Area, Delta State last Wednesday.

Shortly after he regained his freedom, Ebikeme told the News Agency of Nigeria that he could not explain how he was kidnapped.

However, MEND, on Monday, alleged that Ebikeme colluded with the Delta State Police Command to fool Nigerians.

The group claimed that a N500 million ransom was paid by the Delta State Government to fund the cleverly orchestrated kidnap.

MEND said the ransom, which was paid from the security votes of the Delta State Government, was later shared among all those who participated in the scam.

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