Web developer recounts ordeal in hands of wanted kidnappers, arrest of suspects

By Tony Osauzo, Benin

A 23-year-old electrical engineer and web developer Franklyn Onoaghakpote yesterday gave a chilling account of his near-death ordeal at the hands of some suspected kidnappers in Benin City led by a certain Michael.

In a petition addressed to Edo State Police Commissioner Philip Ogbadu dated February 11, 2022 and titled “A Case of Conspiracy and Abduction Against a Michael and Others”, Onoaghakpote said that items valuables worth N20 million had been lost to the kidnappers.

Giving a graphic detail of his experience, he told reporters in Benin that he was beaten and abducted from a popular hotel and lounge along Okhoro Street in Benin City, where he was brutalized for several hours.

“The thing is, I’m into web development. I owned a programming company called FJM Creative Developer World.

“On February 10, 2022, said Michael asked to see me regarding a site I had developed for him two years ago but when I arrived I waited for him only for him to show up with about 20 boys who kidnapped me with guns.

“They blindfolded me, tied my hands and took me to an unfinished building where they started beating me and forcibly took valuables from me.

Onoaghakpote listed the items taken from him to include Samsung S21 Ultra with IMEI number: 350299944273493/352817864273496, Iphone 6, my bank transfer pin and transferred N4,900,000.00 (four million nine hundred thousand naira) from my GT bank account to Polaris bank account, $15,000 bitcoin, gold necklace and hand chain.

“They took me to a river, stripped me naked and started beating me again. After the beating they blindfolded me again, took me to a room where I was held for seven hours and called my parents for a ransom of 16 million naira only if my parents refused to pay money, they would kill me.

“They called their father who they say is a military man who ordered them to shoot me in the legs, but they ended up beating my legs with planks before I was released around 2.30am on February 11. 2022,” he added.

When contacted, Edo’s spokesman, Edo State Police Commander SP Bello Kontongs, confirmed the report and said he expected a detailed briefing from the police anti-kidnapping department.

He said, however, that three people had been arrested in connection with the case.