Essien, who was speaker between 1999 and 2001, was kidnapped by yet-to-be identified gunmen as he was going to his farm at Etebi, in the Esit Local Government Area of the state.
The gunmen, who were said to have pointed gun at him and forced him out of his vehicle into their own, reportedly headed to Udung Uwe in the Orue Offong Oruko LGA.
“Bassey Essien was on his way to his farm at Etebi in Esit Eket when some gunmen, numbering six, blocked his vehicle and dragged him out.
“They forced him into their own vehicle and headed towards Udung Uwe community in the Urueffong Uroko council area. Unfortunately their vehicle broke down, forcing them to resort to using motorcycles to continue their journey during heavy rainfall in the area.
“As they were going, the motorcycles had flat tires,” a relative, who did not want to be named, said.
The source stated that when the abductors were unable to continue the journey to their hideout, they stayed with their victim in a bush around the community.
It was gathered that when information got to some youths in the Udung Uwe community that the former Speaker had been kidnapped at Etebi, a search party consisting of youths and policemen was immediately set up, while the bushes in the community were combed, leading to the apprehension of the abductors.
The family source said Essien was not wounded.
The family source told PUNCH Metro that the abductors had earlier told the former speaker to save his life because they were paid to assassinate him.
It was gathered that the kidnappers had been handed over to the police for interrogation and prosecution.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Cordelia Nwawe, who confirmed the arrest of the hoodlums, added that investigation was ongoing and that the suspects would soon be charged to court.