Police personnel have rescued a 40 -year -old Filipino lady , Irene Panas , allegedly held hostage by one Chukwudi Odo , whom she met on
Facebook in 2019 .
Panas , an accountant based in Manila , was lured to Nene – Uno village in the Enugu East Local Government Area of Enugu State , where she spent six months , while being sexually abused by her supposed lover .
After her rescue , the victim was immediately taken to hospital , where she was admitted from June 5 to June 16 , 2020.
The police explained that Panas , who had a month visa , had planned to spend 10 days in Nigeria , but was forced to stay for six months against her will .
The force spokesman , DCP Frank Mba , who paraded Odo in Abuja on Monday , explained that his victim was critically ill at the time of her rescue , noting that she was held incommunicado by the suspect .
He stated , “Irene Panas , an accountant by profession and a native of Manila in the Philippines , arrived Nigeria on November 22 , 2019, on a visit to one Chukwudi Odo , 54 , of Enugu Ezike in the Igbo- Eze North LGA of Enugu State , whom she met on Facebook on March 8 , 2017 .
“The visit , which was originally intended for 10 days , however , turned out to be a full case of abduction following Odo ’s refusal to allow her to return to her country . She was held incommunicado by the suspect .”
Mba added , “The victim , who was critically ill , was successfully rescued by police operatives attached to the Unity Police Division , Ibegwa Nike , Enugu State , led by the DPO , SP Siga Malgwi, following a tip -off from some members of the public in the area .
“Preliminary investigation revealed that Odo deliberately lured the victim into the country with the aim of confining her , sexually abusing her and extorting money from her .”
Odo , however , defended his action, insisting that he planned to marry Panas and had discussed his plans with her family members .
He accused the Nene -Uno community of informing the police about Panas , because he did not take her to hospital .
The suspect stated , “I met her on
Facebook in March 2017 and we became friends. We were in touch on a regular basis . Then, we agreed to marry each other. I told her that I could not leave my country for another country . I also told her that I was financially handicapped.
“In November 2019, she came to Nigeria ; I even wrote to the Embassy of Philippines intimating them of the arrival of Irene . It happened that I had a minor land issue with the people of Nene -Uno , where I am residing . ”
When asked if he paid the bride price for Panas before having sexual relations with her , he said , “No , but we are in the process .
“The police did not arrest me ; it was the Nene -Uno people , who alleged that my woman was sick and I did not take her to hospital. They came to my house on June 1, asking me to take her to hospital; I wanted to take her to hospital for a pregnancy test . It was an agreement between her family and I that I would marry her. ”
Asked how and where he met the family, the suspect , who is separated from his wife, kept mum .
The police said they were in contact with the Embassy of the Philippines in Nigeria in order to reunite the victim with her family.