Sunday, July 19, 2020 4:01 pm
By Jethro Ibileke
Kidnappers of Hassana Garuba, wife of the late former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Zakawanu Garuba, are yet to release her from custody, a family source has said.
Recall that security operatives had Saturday night reported that Mrs. Garuba had been set free by her abductors.
The close family source who asked not to be named, told our correspondent on phone Sunday afternoon, that the security operatives took the mother of the deceased for his wife.
He also clarified that the children were not abducted with their mother, adding that the kidnappers have already opened negotiations with the family.
“What happened was that the kidnappers took away Mrs. Garuba and her driver, but abandoned the mother-in-law in the vehicle.
“When the security operatives arrived at the scene of the incident, they saw the old woman in the vehicle, drove her home, claiming that Mrs. Garuba had been freed by the kidnappers,” he explained.
The source also disclosed that the kidnappers have opened negotiations with the family.
He however could not mention how much is being demanded for ransom.
According to him, “The kidnappers as at yesterday were in dialogue with the Garuba family about the payment of ransom, but I cannot tell you how much is being demanded now.
“It is also proper to clarify that the children were not kidnapped with their mother. They were not in the car with their mother.
“It was the mother and the driver that were kidnapped. Both of them are still in custody of their abductors.”
Meanwhile, the remains of Zakawanu Garuba, was laid to rest Saturday night in Auchi, Etsako West local government area of the State.
The internment was held in strict observance of NCDC regulations on social distancing.
Garuba died of undisclosed illness at an Abuja hospital Saturday morning.
His corpse arrived Auchi late night and he was immediately buried in accordance with Muslim rites, in a private affair, devoid of the usual fanfare and protocol.
Though rumours were rife that the former Speaker’s death was Covid-19 related, the family has however denied the story, insisting their son died of natural causes.