By G9ija

The kidnapped Prelate of the Methodist Church, His Eminence Samuel Uche, on Tuesday said N100m was paid as ransom before he was released.

At a press conference in Lagos, the cleric said the monies were arranged in five sacks of N20 million.

The funds, he noted, were raised by the Methodist Church in Nigeria.

He also claimed that neither the Federal or State Government, nor the military or police intervened.

The cleric was kidnapped on Sunday in Abia State but was released on Monday.

The Prelate had been kidnapped alongside two others, the Bishop of Methodist Church, Owerri Diocese and the Prelate’s chaplain.

They were reportedly whisked away at about 2pm on their way from a church programme in Okigwe Imo State to Isuochi in Umu Nneochi Local Government Area of Abia State.

Kidnapping for ransom is rife in parts of Nigeria, including the South-East where most violent crimes have been blamed on Ipob, a group seeking secession of the region from Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has taken a tough stance against ransom payments. A law criminalising ransom payments was recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.