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Gunmen kidnap journalist in Owerri

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A journalist, Mr. Tope Kutiyi, has been kidnapped in Imo state.

Kutiyi, a correspondent with the Channels Television, in the early hours of Monday was kidnapped by unknown armed men at his residence in Federal Housing Estate, Umuguma area of the state, Vanguard is reporting.

The hoodlums were said to have scaled through the fence of his residence and whisked him away to an unknown destination.

Confirming the incident, the state Commissioner of Police, CP, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu, said the Command was already at work to unravel those behind the crime.

The Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to Governor, Rochas Okorocha, Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo, said, “The young man is only a reporter who cannot be said to have been kidnapped because of money.

“Only those behind the act know why they decided to inconvenience the reporter and his family.

“Those holding the reporter should please release him to reunite with his family.

“A reporter cannot afford to pay any ransom. To some of us, he may have been a victim of mistaken identity”, Onwuemeodo said, adding that ‘they must have done this to blackmail the state government, having been heavily commended for fighting and reducing cases of kidnapping and other heinous crimes in the state to the nearest minimum.’

The Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly, Chief Acho Ihim, on his part, said he received the news with shock.

He described the incident as ‘regrettable, uncharitable, unchristian and anachronistic,’ stating that the victim was a complete gentleman, who does his job with sentimental attachment.

The Speaker wondered why Kutiyi should be a target for kidnappers.

Meanwhile, passionate appeals have been sent to the correspondent’s captors, to release him unconditionally and unharmed.