The missing Vanguard reporter, Mr Tordue Salem has been found dead in Abuja.
This was even as the Police reportedly arrested a man who posed as kidnapper in an attempt to extort money from the late journalist’s family.
Details of recovery of his remains haven’t been released as at Thursday evening.
The late Benue born journalist was covering the lower legislative Chamber of the National Assembly until he was last seen on Wednesday, 13th October, 2021.
After he closed from work, he was said to have left in a public cab for B.J’s garden with a female relative situated close to Total filling station, opposite Force headquarters.
From the garden, he reportedly flagged a cab for the lady who left before him, informing her that he was going to Area 8, Garki. But he was never seen until his remains were recovered on Thursday.
According to Vanguard, the Police Intelligence Response Team, IRT swung into action on 16th October after the matter was reported to it about the mysterious missing of the late Tordue.
It was reported that a suspect, who was identified as Prince Enyenihi, 25 was arrested in an attempt to extort the family and others who were not named immediately.
The suspect identified as Prince Enyenihi, 25, contacted Mrs Salem on October 26, 2021, via a text message with a concealed number, requesting for N100 million ransom, to be paid as ransom for her husband’s release. Part of the text message read: “if you don’t pay, Tordue will be killed in seven days. For more information, call this number.” The text message also contained an account number the money should be paid into.
This was followed by a call with a concealed number to Salem’s wife the next day,. Mrs Salem requested to speak with her husband, to ascertain he was alive before negotiation would begin. But the caller gave the phone to someone who tried to play along.
When she noticed that the voice did not sound like her husband’s, she asked the stranger to mention the name of their daughter and her birth date, a question that met dead silence at the other end.
Same evening, another call with a concealed number was received by Mrs Salem, requesting to know if her husband had been released. The confused woman was said to have requested why the caller had his number concealed.
On October 27, another text came on a bulk text message platform, ordering the family to pay the N100 million ransom before the next day, failure of which they would kill Salem.
The Police swung into action first, by de-encrypting the number that called and traced its owner to a lady in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
However, during interrogation, the lady who owns Joy Skin Care denied culpability, stating rather, that a particular number had been calling her line since October 26, 2021.
Security Operatives upon checks discovered that the number was same with that used to contact Mrs Salem, which Prince Enyenihi was finally arrested on 5th November, 2021.
Preliminary investigation by security operatives indicated that Prince Enyenihi was the next door neighbor to the beautician.
During interrogation, he disclosed that he got information of Vanguard reporter’s disappearance on a flyer that went viral on social media, which had the number of Mrs Salem as the contact person to report to if found.
The suspect further stated that he sent the text messages without the knowledge of his female neighbour, adding that he got his neighbour’s telephone number and account details from her Facebook page.
He said, “I knew the family wouldn’t pay the money. I used the owner of Joy beauty skin care ‘s account details in order to punish her for always talking to me anyhow.”
The Police couldn’t be reached immediately.