Thursday, May 6th 2021 4:40 AM

Market Digest Nigeria


Nigeria police lied, we paid N2 million ransom to our abductors – Kidnapped couple

A couple abducted at Uso, along Akure-Owo expressway in Ondo State, last week, have denied that they were rescued by security agencies. They said they paid a ransom to secure their freedom.

Gbenga Ibikunle and his wife were returning from Ebonyi State last week when they were kidnapped by gunmen.

The police had promised to rescue then unhurt, while the abductors demanded a ransom of N10million.

But on Saturday, the couple regained their freedom after spending about four days in captivity.

The police quickly announced their release, claiming it was made possible by the efforts of the police, NSCDC, the military and Amotekun Corps.

”We heard they were asking for N20 million ransom, but we are not interested in that. We rescued the couple and we are going to get the perpetrators,” Leo Tee-Ikoro, the police spokesperson, said.

But Mr Ibikunke told journalists in Akure on Monday that no security agency was involved in securing their release.

He said N2 million was paid to their abductors before they were released.

“I am surprised with the claims that we were rescued by the police,” he said.

“This is nothing but a lie coming from the pit of hell.

“I can say it boldly that, no security agency came to our rescue. We were released around 1 a.m. after ransom was paid to them.

“They collected the ransom along the road without being jittery. In fact, they counted all the money before they released me to my brother, who brought the N2 million.

“We were in the bush with them for three good days without food. They treated us like criminals. They beat us with stick and cutlass. We met a man in their den, who was also released the same way we were. His own family parted with N10 million before he was released.

“At a point they wanted to rape my wife, but she tricked them that she was pregnant.”

Mr Ibikunle also said his abductors were Fulanis and lamented that “Nigeria is in a big mess.”

“We don’t have security in this country anymore. It is sad that our security agencies are not effective. The kidnappers carried out their operations with impunity. They boasted that they will kill any policeman that wanted to rescue us,” he added.

“I am weeping for this country because we are not safe. We can no longer travel.”

In a related development, the police in Ekiti on Monday confirmed the abduction of one Suleiman Akinbami at a fuel station in Ado Ekiti.

A statement by Ekiti Police Public Relations Officer, Sunday Abutu, said the victim’s wife, Mariam Akinbami, made the report of the incident at Odo-Ado Divisional Police Headquarters, Ado Ekiti.

He said four armed men quietly approached Mr Akinbami at a petrol station along Ijan/Ado Road at about 8.30 p.m. on Sunday and ordered him into his Toyota SUV and drove him away to an unknown destination.

“Upon receipt of the information, the DPO led his team to the scene but the abductors had already gone,” Mr Abutu said.

“Meanwhile, the Command has deployed a Special Team of Policemen to be assisted by the Amotekun Corp, the Local Hunters and the Vigilantes to comb the bush for possible tracking of the suspects and the release of the victims.

“The Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, CP Tunde Mobayo, while calling for calm, assures the good people of Ekiti State that the Police will do its best to ensure the rescue of the victims and the tracking of the abductors.”

The commissioner also advised everyone to be wary of strange and suspicious faces around their domains and implored everyone with useful information to contact the nearest police station.

Kidnapping for ransom has become rampant in many parts of Nigeria as insecurity worsens across the country.

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