By Shola Akingboye, 12 November 2021
12th November, 2021
Nigerian journalist Tordue Henry Salem, who has been missing since 13 October was found dead yesterday in Abuja, his newspaper reported.
Salem was covering the House of Representatives for the Vanguard newspaper.
On the day he vanished, Salem closed for work and took a cab at Total filling station, close to the Force headquarters, and headed for B.J’s Garden, in the company of a female relative.
Thereafter, 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 night.
An alarm on his mysterious disappearance was raised the next day, from where the matter was directed to the Intelligence Response Team , IRT on October 16, 2021.
Meanwhile, among the arrest so far made was a 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 began. 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 me 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.
Vanguard further gathered that when on further checks operatives discovered that the number was same with that used to contact Mrs Salem , consequent upon which 25-year-old Enyenihi was arrested on November 5, 2021.
During preliminary investigation, it was discovered that he was 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 described the arrest as a distraction from what they were looking for.
Efforts to reach the Force Public Relation’s Officer failed
Meanwhile, Salem’s Facebook page has been flooded with melancholic tributes by his colleagues and friends.
His sister Elizabeth Jessica expressed anger that the authorities let Salem down.
“Tordue Salem the country you loved so much and believed in refused to investigate your missing until the enemy killed you”, she wrote.
Steve Pine condoled with her, writing: “It is very unfortunate! A lot of questions are begging for answers indeed but time shall tell. There is nothing hidden under the moon, sun and stars.
“There is also a price for every sin, thus his killers must suffer the consequences of killing him in one way or another in due course. Our God is a God of vengeance. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace”.
“Tordue Salem, whoever has a hand in your death shall never know peace.My first lady Elizabeth Jessica it’s time to look up to God hang your faith and trust in him,” wrote Babatunde Abdulazeez from Lagos.
Shimsenge Emmanuel said: Jerusalem my happy home,
When shall I come to thee? When shall my sorrows have an end?
Thy joys when shall I see? May heaven welcome your soul and have a favourable judgement before the throne of grace brother.
Rest in peace Dear Tordue Salem”.
For Amande Msughter Solomon, an aide to Kogi governor, Salem’s death was unbearable.
“As a young parent like the late Tordue, I am completely devastated. This is sad. You were a jolly good guy sir, May your killers never find rest.