Nkem Owoh (Osuofia) Kidnapped

I go Chop You dollar video

Kidnappers have abducted the popular Nigerian actor, Nkem Owoh a.k.a. Osuofia.
The president of the actors guild of Nigeria told channels television today that Mr. Owoh was kidnapped along Enugu-Port Harcourt express way. The kidnappers are reported to have demanded 15 million naira ransom from Mr. Owoh’s family.
His kidnap came barely few months after the ace actor, Pete Edochie,  was kidnapped at Afor-Nkpor in the Idemili North local government area of Anambra state.
In another development, Kidnappers who abducted the Niger state Permanent Secretary  in charge of Youth Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Umar, yesterday along Suleja/ Diko express way, are demanding  a N30 million  ransom before their victim could be released.
The Permanent Secretary was said to be on his way from Zaria, Kaduna state,  where he is currently  pursuing a post graduate programme at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, when he was kidnapped. 
Wife of the kidnapped Niger state government official, Hajiya Maimuna Umar, said her husband called her around 9 pm on Sunday to tell her of his plight, adding that while she was on phone with him, the kidnappers collected the phone from her,  asking her to make available the sum of N30 million as ransom for her husband’s release.
She said  after ordering her to remain close to her phone for further instructions, they switched off the line on her.   The  State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Richard Oguche, when contacted confirmed the report, saying his command had dispatched two units of armed policemen out to track the kidnappers.
He disclosed that information reaching the command confirmed that the permanent secretary has been taken to Zaria in his car by six people who are holding him hostage.
“We are on top of the issue as we have sent two units of policemen to track down the kidnappers who abducted the permanent secretary along Suleja/ Diko express way while returning from Zaria,” he said.
“While the police are doing their  best to bring the man back in good health, anybody with useful information about the case should please assist the police in tracking the kidnappers, ” he said.
Owoh’s abduction is coming barely three months after some unidentified gunmen abducted but later released popular actor and Re-branding Nigeria Ambassador, Chief Pete Edochie (MON). 

Edochie was released three days after unidentified hoodlums abducted him at Nkpor near Onitsha. The former broadcaster and star of the television adaptation of Chinua Achebe’s epic novel Things Fall Apart later united with his family.

Though it was widely reported by a section of the media that his abductors had demanded ransom to the tune of about N10 million for his release, the bearded actor refuted claims that they demanded ransom for his release, stressing that on the contrary he was treated like a father and reverenced like an elder.

According to Chuma Onwudiwe, Secretary General of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), who confirmed Owoh’s abduction, the actor was probably on his way to a movie shoot ‘somewhere around the Enugu-Abia axis’.

Onwudiwe confirmed the receipt of a similar message and said: “I am in touch with the family and our members in Enugu State, Owoh is a registered member of AGN there. I am also aware that the abductors have asked for a N15 million ransom. There is no other demand or news on the abduction yet, but be assured that I would reach you with further developments. The point is that someone has established contact with the abductors and I just pray nothing happens to him.”

Top Nollywood actor and producer, Steve Eboh aka Ajebo, expressed shock at Owoh’s abduction.

In his words, “it is sad that these hoodlums are now taking on people who are supposed to be making them happy in the face of depression. It is sad and a sad commentary too on the Nigerian question. If you link it to how our senior artiste, Chief Pete Edochie, was abducted recently, you would know that the people behind these are just people, who are hungry and protesting the bad governance in the nation and what have you. I think government should take a decisive step to improve the life of the people. Before it was militancy, now it is abduction.”

Hailed as the undisputed ‘King of Comedy’, Owoh hit the right note when he starred in the jubilee hit Osuufia in London in 2003. The movie was produced and directed by Kingsley Ogoro.

Owoh rode on the back of the two-part movie to emerge one of Nigeria’s highest paid actors, earning close to N2 million per movie appearance.

Owoh later veered into singing. He released an album, which he titled I go chop your dollar, which however, pitched him against government.

Though a song about advance fee fraud, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) banned it for promoting advance free fraud.

In 2007, Owoh was arrested in Amsterdam but was later released after Police raided venue of a musical show where he was performing.

The police arrested over 100 people on suspicion of lottery fraud and immigration violation but they didn’t find Owoh guilty.

Also in 2008, Nollywood and fans of the actor were thrown into momentary shock when it was rumoured that the actor had passed on following complications resulting from the rupture of hard drugs the actor reportedly ingested while trying to traffic them out of Nigeria.

Owoh was reportedly arrested in Afghanistan, where the rupture occurred. Owoh’s appearance in Lagos and some live television and radio interview he granted was what dispelled the rumour.

President of AGN, Segun Arinze, told The Guardian yesterday that the guild was working with relevant authorities to “ensure that Owoh re-unites with his family and gets back to the fold.”

He said, “we are all on red alert. My phones are on. I have been calling Enugu almost every five minutes. Our prayer is that nothing happens to him. We are entertainers. We work for every dime we have. So, demanding ransom from us is misplaced.”