Former captain of Nigeria Scrabble National Team, Paul Sodje, has died after he was abducted by suspected herdsmen.
Chairman of the Nigeria Scrabble Federation, Publicity Committee, Akintunde Akinsemola, said that Sodje’s body was found inside the bush in Idoani, Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State, September 1.
Sodje was said to have taken ransom money to the kidnappers, who had abducted his brother, Chris, four days earlier.
“Chris was going for his uncle’s funeral in Okwagbe, Delta State on August 28, when he was kidnapped at Ifon, Ondo State. The Fulani men demanded N100 million but later reduced it to N1 million. His wife Flora and friends rallied round to raise the ransom.
“Then his elder brother Paul and a friend took the ransom to them, yet the Fulani men murdered the two of them. Chris has not been found and the kidnappers have stopped communicating with the family,” Akinsemola told The PUNCH.
“Idoani elders led by Otunba Oladele Olapeju, who were searching for their kinsmen, who were also kidnapped, saw Paul Sodje’s body and that of the man that accompanied him to the herders’ rendezvous.
“They took the bodies to the Federal Medical Centre, Owo, where they still lie,” he added.
The late Sodje, who would have been 55 on Wednesday, captained Nigeria to the African Scrabble Championship in Zambia, 2012.
Meanwhile, the scrabble federation held a virtual post-homous birthday for the late Sodje on Wednesday.
“We keep mourning, he was to celebrate his 55th birthday today (Wednesday), which would have been a great landmark for him but his life was nipped in the bud,” Akinsemola quoted NSF President, Sulaiman Gora, as saying.