Ugbe, who is the Managing Director of the first Calabar private radio station, HIT FM, was kidnapped late Thursday by unmasked gunmen in a house along the Ekpo-Iso lane in the Ikot-Ansa area of Calabar metropolis.
Southern City News learnt that Ugbe was trailed to the house where he had gone to visit a bereaved family at about 9pm when the gunmen struck.
A source said that the kidnappers got in touch with the family on Friday to place their demands.
She said, “The kidnappers called to demand for N30m. The former commissioner had gone to visit a bereaved family on Thursday night and the moment he entered the compound, the kidnappers emerged behind him and demanded for the phones of all those around, including him.
“We learnt that they did not know him initially but had to ask and he was fished out. They took the little money he had gone to give the bereaved family and whisked him away in his own car to an unknown destination.”
Another source, who also craved anonymity, said that the kidnappers succeeded because security operatives paid more attention to the routes where the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, used while on official visit to Calabar on Thursday.
He said, “One of the reasons why this was easy for the kidnappers was that the whole security apparatus in the state was directed at ensuring the safety of the acting President who was in Calabar on official duties.
“The entire security operatives in the state concentrated on areas where the acting President would visit, leaving the other areas porous.”
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, said that Ugbe’s vehicle had been recovered.
“We were so much involved with the activities marking the arrival of the acting president. So, immediately we got that information, efforts were made by circulating the information. We shut down everywhere within the inlets and outlets of Calabar with a view to ensuring that we tracked the kidnappers.
“I believe we got the information a bit late, otherwise it would have been easier for us to block everywhere and recover the vehicle. The vehicle was eventually recovered. We are working with other services to rescue the man,” he said.