Unknown gunmen on Friday hijacked a grave-bound corpse at Ahoada in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State and demanded a ransom of N1m before releasing it.
According to a witness, the corpse was being conveyed home for interment by relations and church members when the gunmen ambushed the hearse along Ahoada Road.
The witness said the bandits pulled the corpse from the ambulance and fled with it inside the bush while the driver of the ambulance was asked to go.
He said that the news of the tragic drama got to the children of the late woman, which made one of them to visit the scene, saying that the deceased’s son never returned home alive.
The witness said when the son of the deceased got to the scene of the incident and demanded the release of his mother's corpse, the armed men responded by shooting. They then dragged his lifeless body into the bush; it took the intervention of someone from the community before the corpse was released to the church.
“The family had hired an ambulance with which it was conveying the remains of the woman home for burial," the witness said.
"On the way, this group of armed men, decked in flowing white robe but armed with AK-47 riffles, waylaid the ambulance, took the casket hostage, demanding N1,000,000 from the bereaved’s family for its release.
"They ordered the ambulance driver to 'vanish with his vehicle, and the man gladly fled the scene."
However, no sooner had the burial service started at the community church, after the release of the corpse, than the congregation got a whiff of an impending cultist attack, which made everyone disperse the church and abandon the corpse.